by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
MALAYSIA’S exports in January 2021 maintained its positive growth for five consecutive months, registering an increase of 6.6% to RM89.63 billion which marks the highest export value for the month of January thus far, according to Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade).
The expansion was supported by an increase in global demand notably for electrical and electronic (E&E) and rubber products as well as front-loading activities prior to the festive season.
Higher exports were seen to China, the US, Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Imports expanded by 1.3% year-on-year (YoY) to RM73.02 billion. Total trade rose by 4.1% to RM162.65 billion, the highest value registered for the month of January.
Trade surplus surged by 38% to RM16.6 billion, sustaining a double-digit growth for eight consecutive months.
Compared to December 2020, total trade, exports, imports and trade surplus decreased by 4.8%, 6.4%, 2.7% and 19.8%, respectively.
Exports of manufactured goods contributed to 88.5% of total exports, posting a double-digit growth of 11.7% YoY to RM79.36 billion, mainly by higher exports of E&E products which was driven by rising demand for various electronic products notably in automotive industry, 5G network and smart devices.
Exports of rubber products, especially rubber gloves, showed resilient performance, registering triple-digit growth for five consecutive months. The increase was also registered for manufactures of metal, chemicals and chemical products as well as optical and scientific equipment.
Exports of agriculture goods (5.6% share) amounted to RM5 billion compared to a year ago, decreased by 7.2% mainly due to lower exports of palm oil and palm oil- based agriculture products.
Exports of mining goods (5.5% share) was valued at RM4.93 billion, shrank by 31% YoY mainly on lower exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude petroleum.
On a month-on-month (MoM) basis, exports of manufactured, agriculture and mining goods declined by 3.2%, 40.2% and 1.8%, respectively.
Trade with Asean constituted 26.5% of Malaysia’s total trade, expanded by 7.4% to RM43.03 billion compared to January 2020.
Exports grew for two straight months, recording a 7.3% growth to RM25.73 billion buoyed by higher exports of E&E products. Imports from Asean picked up by 7.6% to RM17.29 billion.
Meanwhile, trade with China surged by 13.3% YoY to RM29.9 billion, accounting for 18.4% of Malaysia’s total trade.
Exports to China recorded a double-digit growth since November 2020, expanding by 26% to RM13.11 billion due to higher exports of E&E products, iron and steel products as well as other manufactures especially solid-state storage devices (SSD) while imports expanded by 5% to RM16.79 billion.
Compared to December 2020, trade, exports and imports declined by 11%, 15.8% and 6.9%, respectively.
Matrade said total imports grew by 1.3% YoY to RM73.02 billion with the three main categories of imports by end use accounted for 72.8% of the total.
Intermediate goods, valued at RM39.39 billion or 53.9% of total imports, expanded by 1.4%, following higher imports of processed industrial supplies, particularly non-monetary gold.
Capital goods, valued at RM7.24 billion or 9.9% of total imports, declined by 5.4%, due mainly to reduced imports of capital goods (except transport equipment), primarily electrical machinery, equipment and parts.
Consumption goods, valued at RM6.54 billion or 9% of total imports, rose by 1.3%, as a result of higher imports of primary food and beverages mainly for household consumption, especially coffee, tea and spices.