Total trade in August up 22% year-on-year

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s total trade in August 2017 rose 22% to RM154.6 billion from a year ago while the trade surplus increased 14.4% to RM9.9 billion from RM8.6 billion a year ago.

On a year-on-year basis, exports rose 21.5% to RM82.2 billion from RM67.6 billion, while imports rose 22.6% to RM72.4 billion from RM59.1 billion.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, re-exports in August 2017 were valued at RM11.2 billion and accounted for 13.6% of total exports, while domestic exports grew 22.1% to RM71.1 billion.

Exports increased year-on-year due to higher shipments to Singapore (up 20.5%), China (21.2%), EU (21.6%) and Taiwan (64.8%) while the higher imports were mainly from Singapore (63.5%), EU (31.2%), China (12.3%) and Taiwan (27.2%).

The main contributors to higher exports were electrical and electronic products, liquefied natural gas (LNG), refined petroleum products, natural rubber, timber and timber-based products and crude petroleum, all of which reported increases.

However, palm oil and palm oil-based products fell 1.5% to RM6.6 billion. Exports of palm oil, the major commodity in this group of products declined 12.1% due to the decrease in export volume.

Meanwhile, the growth in imports was attributed to higher imports of intermediate, capital and consumption goods which grew 25.5%, 12.7% and 17.8% respectively.

Based on data released by the department today, total trade stood at RM1.2 trillion for January till August this year, with China being the biggest trade partner making up 16.2% of the total trade, followed by Singapore at 12.8%.

Total exports for the eight months stood at RM611.9 billion while total imports stood at RM551.1 billion. Total exports to Asean countries stood at RM179.6 billion while total imports from Asean countries came to RM140.3 billion.