Trade performance records double-digit growth in February

by HARIZAH KAMEL / Pic by ARIF KARTONO
 
MALAYSIA’S trade in February 2021 registered a double-digit growth of 15.4% to RM157.27 billion compared to the same month last year, according to the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI). 
 
Trade, exports, imports and trade surplus posted a new high for the month of February with exports accelerated by 17.6% to RM87.57 billion while imports rose by 12.7% to RM69.7 billion and trade surplus surged by 41.6% to RM17.86 billion. 
 
MITI said exports maintained its year-on-year (YoY) positive growth for six consecutive months. This expansion was also the fastest since October 2018.  
 
Export growth was supported by increase in global demand notably for electrical and electronic (E&E) products mainly semiconductor, rubber products as well as commodity-based products particularly petroleum products and palm oil.  
 
It elaborated that higher exports were seen to most major markets namely Asean, China, the US, the EU, Japan and Hong Kong. 
 
“Compared to January 2021, trade surplus increased by 7.6%. Total trade, exports and imports were lower by 3.3%, 2.3% and 4.5%, respectively,” it said in a statement today. 
 
MITI said in January to February 2021, exports recorded a double-digit growth of 11.7% to RM177.19 billion compared to the same period of 2020. Imports rose by 6.6% and total trade expanded by 9.4%. Trade surplus surged by 39.8%. 
 
Exports of manufactured goods in February which contributed 86.6% to total exports, registering a double-digit growth of 20.1% YoY to RM75.83 billion mainly due to higher exports of E&E products, rubber products and petroleum products.  
 
This was contributed mainly by higher demand of semiconductors for smart devices, 5G network as well as automotive industry as the global economic activities continued to recover. 
 
“Exports of agriculture goods (6.5% share) rose by 9.7% to RM5.69 billion compared to February 2020 buoyed mainly by higher shipments of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. 
 
“Exports of mining goods (5.9% share) recorded a softer YoY contraction of 7.8% in February 2021 to RM5.19 billion compared to a decline of 31% in January 2021. The decline was due to lower exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude petroleum,” it said. 
 
As for imports, MITI said total imports in February 2021 grew by 12.7% YoY to RM69.7 billion from February 2020. The three main categories of imports by end use which accounted for 74.4% of total imports were intermediate goods, capital goods and consumption goods. 
 
Intermediate goods, valued at RM38.32 billion or 55% share of total imports, decreased by 0.2%, following lower imports of parts and accessories of capital goods (except transport equipment), particularly electrical machinery, equipment and parts. 
 
Capital goods (10.9% of total imports) increased by 39% mainly due to higher imports of capital goods (except transport equipment), primarily parts of machinery and mechanical appliances. 
 
Consumption goods (8.5% of total imports) expanded by 17.6%, as a result of higher imports of durables, especially furniture, added MITI