Malaysia’s exports fell 6.7% in October

Total trade for October stood at RM164b, down 7.6% from a year ago, but 11.4% higher from September 2019


MALAYSIA’S exports fell 6.7% year-on-year (YoY) to RM90.6 billion in October 2019 as the country recorded lower commodity sales to major importers such as Australia, Japan, China and Thailand.

This was also due to the high base in October 2018 which saw the highest value ever recorded, Department of Statistics Malaysia chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said in a statement yesterday.

“All main products contributed to the decline. Crude petroleum, which contributed 2.1% to total exports, dropped 50.5% to RM1.9 billion, due to the decrease in export volume and average unit value.

“Refined petroleum products, which accounted for 5.4% of total exports, shrank 27.2% to RM4.9 billion due to the drop in average unit value and export volume.

“Electrical and electronics (E&E) products, which accounted for 41.3% of total exports, declined 3.2% to RM37.4 billion,” he said.

Liquefied natural gas, which contributed 4% to total exports, slipped 17.1% to RM3.6 billion on the decrease in average unit value. Palm oil and palm oil-based products, which contributed 6.2% to total shipments, slid 9.3% to RM5.6 billion.

“Export of palm oil, the major commodity in this group of products, decreased by 9.8% or RM354 million due to the decline in both export volume (5.5%) and average unit value (4.5%),” Mohd Uzir said.

Timber and timber-based products, contributing 2.3% to total exports, dropped 3.9% to RM2.1 billion. Natural rubber, which comprised 0.3% of total shipments, fell 4.7% to RM300 million on lower export volume despite an increase of 2.1% in average unit value.

Re-exports were valued at RM18.5 billion, registering a 10.2% YoY decline and accounting for 20.4% of total exports. Domestic exports posted a 5.8% or RM4.4 billion slide to RM72.1 billion. On a month-on-month (MoM) basis, Malaysia’s exports grew 16.6% or RM12.9 billion from RM77.7 billion recorded previously.

The two major destinations for Malaysia’s exports in October were Singapore (RM13.9 billion or 15.4% of total exports) and China (RM13.6 billion or 15% of total exports).

Shipments to Singapore rose 4.1% YoY, mainly due to a 150.4% jump in crude petroleum and a 69.7% surge in palm oil and palm-based products.

Although China remained a big buyer of Malaysian products, its imports declined 11% YoY due to a 21.5% drop in E&E products and a 48.6% plunge in refined petroleum products.

Meanwhile, Malaysian imports for October declined 8.7% to RM73.3 billion from the same month last year.

Intermediate goods, capital goods and consumption goods recorded declines of 5.1%, 11.5% and 5% respectively.

“On a MoM basis, imports increased by 5.6% from RM69.4 billion, mainly attributed to consumption and capital goods.

“Lower imports were mainly from Taiwan, Singapore, the European Union (EU), China, Saudi Arabia and the US,” Mohd Uzir said.

Total trade for October stood at RM163.9 billion, down 7.6% or RM13.5 billion from a year ago, but 11.4% higher from September 2019.

The trade surplus was valued at RM17.3 billion, higher by 2.8% or RM474.3 million from a year ago.

In September 2019, Malaysian exports slipped 6.8% YoY to RM77.7 billion, while re-exports and domestic exports slid 17.6% and 2.9% respectively.

However, imports for the month increased 2.4% YoY to RM69.4 billion, mainly from China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, the EU and India.