March export slips to RM80.1b, trade surplus falls 14.2%

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s export and import decreased 4.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM80.1 billion and 2.7% to RM67.8 billion respectively in March 2020.

Total trade fell 3.8% y-o-y to RM147.9 billion, while trade surplus stood at RM12.3 billion, a 14.2% contraction compared to March 2019.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the decrease in exports was driven by domestic exports, which declined 8.7% to RM62.9 billion.

The main products which contributed to the decline in exports were electrical and electronic products (-RM4.4 billion), liquefied natural gas (-RM518.0 million), timber and timber-based products (-RM293.0 million), crude petroleum (-RM101.6 million), palm oil and palm oil-based products (-RM48.8 million) and natural rubber (-RM29.6 million).

However, a higher export of RM2.2 billion was recorded for refined petroleum products.

Lower exports in March 2020 were registered to Thailand (-RM2.0 billion), India (-RM1.4 billion), the European Union (-RM1.1 billion) and Vietnam (-RM966.2 million).

Re-exports picked up by 13.4% to RM17.3 billion.

On the other hand the lower imports were mainly from Singapore (-RM1.9 billion), the European Union (-RM1.5 billion), and Thailand (-RM1.2 billion).

Imports by end use was dominated by capital goods, intermediate goods and consumption goods. Imports of capital goods amounted to RM4.4 billion, a decreased RM3.9 billion. Nevertheless, imports for intermediate goods and consumption goods recorded an increase of RM763.0 million and RM410.9 million respectively.

In the first quarter, export rose 1.1% to RM238.7 billion, which resulted in a marginal increase in trade surplus of 0.1% to RM37.0 billion.

On the other hand, imports for the period stood at RM201.7 billion, a 1.3% growth y-o-y.

Overall, Malaysia’s trade value stood at RM440.4 billion, a 1.2% increase.

Uzir said imports and exports rebounded to register a positive growth after declining for four quarters in 2019.

“The growth in exports was attributed to higher exports to Indonesia, Singapore, the United States and Republic of Korea. Meanwhile, higher imports were mainly from the US, Korea, India, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia,” he said.