PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s trade registered the 15th consecutive month of double-digit growth in April, with a 21.3% increase to RM231.44 billion compared with the same period last year.

Exports increased by 20.7% to RM127.49 billion, the ninth successive month of double-digit year-on-year (y-o-y) expansion on the back of higher shipments of electrical and electronic (E&E) products mainly semiconductors (27% increase from April 2021) valued at RM47.06 billion and accounted for 36.9% of the total exports.

Double-digit export growth was recorded for all major sectors including manufactured goods (84.2%) which rose by 17.2% y-o-y to RM107.39 billion underpinned by higher exports of E&E products, manufactures of metal, chemicals and chemical products as well as palm oil-based manufactured products, each recorded more than RM1 billion increase in exports.

Exports of agriculture goods (8%) increased by 29.9% to RM10.2 billion compared with April 2021, the 14th consecutive month of double-digit growth, driven by higher exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.

Exports of mining goods (7.3%) expanded by 64.6% y-o-y to RM9.33 billion, the 13th successive month of double-digit growth, bolstered by growing exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude petroleum.

However, exports of manufactured, agriculture and mining goods contracted by 1.9%, 3.5% and 13.4%, respectively compared with March 2022.

Exports to major markets recorded double-digit growth, notably Asean (26.1%) rose by 14.2%, China (16.9%) increased by 12.4%, the US (9.6%) up 18.1%, the European Union (8%) rose by 30.5%, and Japan (6.4%) went up by 4.5%. Exports to the US recorded the highest monthly value ever at RM14.35 billion on the back of higher exports of E&E products.

Meanwhile, imports grew by 22% to RM103.95 billion and the trade surplus expanded by 15.7% to RM23.55 billion underpinned by intermediate goods (57.3% share), capital goods (8.8% share), and consumption goods (8% share).

Intermediate goods imports increased by 28.1% following higher imports of parts and accessories of capital goods (except transport equipment) particularly electrical machinery, equipment and parts; capital goods imports contracted by 2.4%, due to lower imports of capital goods (except transport equipment), primarily parts and accessories for optical apparatus; and consumption goods rose by 9.7% as a result of higher imports of non-durables, especially apparel and clothing.

For the period of January to April 2022, imports climbed by 24.3% to RM383.82 billion from the same period of 2021.

However, on a month-on-month basis, trade, exports, imports and trade surplus declined by 2.1%, 3.1%, 0.9% and 11.6%, respectively.

Additionally, trade with free trade agreement partners, which comprised 65.7% of Malaysia’s total trade, jumped by 19.5% yoy to RM152 billion in April 2022.

From January to April 2022, the highest value was also recorded for trade, exports, imports and trade surplus. Trade climbed by 22.9% to RM856.21 billion compared with the same period last year. Exports jumped by 21.8% to RM472.39 billion and imports were up by 24.3% to RM383.82 billion. The trade surplus grew by 12.1% to RM88.57 billion.