by S BIRRUNTHA
MALAYSIA’S exports registered an increase of 1.7% to RM88 billion year-on-year (YoY), while imports decreased 5.9% to RM73.7 billion YoY in July 2019.
Statistics Department chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin (picture) said the growth in exports was mainly attributed to electric and electronics (E&E), liquefied natural gas (LNG), refined petroleum, natural rubber, timber and timber-based products.
He said the LNG segment — which accounted for 3.8% of total exports grew 31.3% to RM3.3 billion due to the increase in export volume — while the E&E products grew RM1.5 billion (4.5%) to RM36 billion.
“Natural rubber — which contributed 0.5% to total exports increased 25.5% to RM420.2 million — as the refined petroleum and timber and timber-based products noted a hike of 3.2% and 1.2% respectively.
“However, products like crude petroleum, palm oil and palm oil-based products recorded the highest decrease compared to the previous year,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Mohd Uzir said crude petroleum, which contributed 2.4% of total exports dropped 45.7% to RM2.1 billion, while the exports of palm oil — which is a major commodity — fell 14.2% to RM428.1 million.
“The two major destinations for Malaysia’s exports in July were China (+3.8% to RM488.8 million) and Singapore (+3.1% to RM372.9 million) compared to the previous year.
“The main products which attributed to the increase of export to China were LNG and refined petroleum, while major exports to Singapore were E&E products.
“On a month-to-month basis, exports increased 15.5% from RM76.1 billion compared to the previous month,” he said.
Overall, on a YoY basis, the increase in exports were to Taiwan (RM1.2 billion), the US (RM610.2 million), China (RM488.8 million) and Singapore (RM372.9 million).
On the other hand, the exports decreased to India (RM534 million), Australia (RM417.9 million) and Japan (RM352 million).
Meanwhile, the 5.9% decline in imports was attributed to capital goods, intermediate goods and consumption goods.
Mohd Uzir said imports of capital goods — which accounted for 11.4% of total imports — dropped 13.9% to RM8.4 billion due to the decline in both transport and industrial equipment.
“Intermediate goods constituted 52.8% of total imports fell 3.4% to RM38.9 billion, while imports of consumption goods (8.6% of total imports) recorded a decrease of 5% to RM6.4 million,” he added.
He said the two main sources of Malaysia’s import in July 2019 were China and Singapore.
Imports from China registered RM15.2 billion shrank RM439.8 million (2.8%) compared to July 2018 and the decrease was attributed to E&E products (6.3%).
Meanwhile, imports from Singapore decreased RM1.8 billion (20.2%) to RM7.1 billion from a year ago, due to the drop in imports of E&E products (29.5%) and refined petroleum (25.5%).
He said imports grew 12.3% from RM65.6 billion on a month-to-month basis, as all main categories showed an increase.
For imports on a YoY basis, lower imports were mainly from Singapore (RM1.8 billion), Taiwan (RM1.2 billion), India (RM822.9 million), the European Union (RM736.3 million) and Thailand (RM554 million).
Meanwhile, higher imports were from Republic of Korea (RM731 million), Iraq (RM462.8 million) and Brunei (RM426 million).
In July 2019, it was noted that the total trade which was valued at RM161.7 billion decreased RM3.2 billion or 1.9% as compared to July 2018.