Total trade records double digit growth for seven consecutive months

by NURUL SUHAIDI / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

MALAYSIA’S trade performance maintained its upward momentum in August 2021,  showing an increment of 15.7% to RM169.79 billion compared to August 2020, the seventh consecutive month of double-digit growth since February 2021.

The Malaysia External Trade Statistics report stated that the country’s trade increased by 22.9 % to RM1.407 trillion in the first eight months of 2021, compared to the same period last year.

Exports increased by 24.9 % to RM778.49 billion during the year, recording the fastest growth since 1998.

While exports grew by 18.4% to RM95.59 billion, the 12th consecutive month of year-on-year (y-o-y) expansion since September 2020. Imports expanded by 12.5% to  RM74.2 billion while trade surplus was up by 44.7% to RM21.39 billion. Trade, exports, and trade surplus registered the highest monthly value for August.

Imports increased 20.4 % to RM628.29 billion, while the trade surplus increased 48.2 % to RM150.2 billion.

From January to August 2021, almost all products had an increase in exports. Exports of manufactured goods climbed by 25.8 % to RM673.01 billion in comparison to the same time in 2020, owing to increasing exports of E&E products, rubber products, petroleum products, metal manufacturing, as well as chemicals and chemical products.

The exports of agricultural goods rose by 32.1% to RM58.13 billion attributed to higher exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.  Exports of mining goods rose by 7.6% to RM44.35 billion underpinned by higher exports of LNG and crude petroleum. 

Trade with China meanwhile recorded a growth of 14.3% y-o-y to RM32.17 billion,  the ninth consecutive month of double-digit expansion and represented 18.9% of  Malaysia’s total trade.

Similarly, the exports to China improved by 5.7% to RM15.19 billion following higher exports of LNG as well as chemicals and chemical products. Imports from China rose by 23.4% to RM16.99 billion.

Compared to July 2021, exports increased by 5.3%, while trade and imports contracted by 5.3% and 13.1%, respectively.

Whereas the trade with the US in August 2021 accounted for 9.9% of Malaysia’s total trade or  RM16.75 billion, showing an increase of 5.8% y-o-y.

However, the imports from the US slipped by 4.2% to RM5.91 billion, while the Exports rebounded by 12.1% to RM10.84 billion on higher exports of E&E products, rubber products as well as machinery,  equipment and parts.

Trade with the United States increased by 20.6 % to RM137.57 billion from January to August 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.

Rubber exports increased by 34.2 % to RM89.95 billion, owing to increased exports of E&E goods, machinery, equipment, and parts, as well as optical and scientific equipment. Imports from the United States grew 1.2 % to RM47.63 billion.

“Additionally, the Trade with the EU, which accounted for 8.3 % of Malaysia’s overall trade in August 2021, increased by 16 % year on year to RM14.13 billion,” the report said.

Notably, the exports increased by 6.4 % to RM7.68 billion, attributed to the increased exports of palm oil and palm oil-based products, metal manufacturing, and petroleum products. EU imports surged by 29.9 % to RM6.45 billion.

Furthermore, trade with Japan, which amounted to 7.1 % of Malaysia’s overall trade in August 2021, increased by 27.5 percent year on year to RM12 billion.

Exports increased by 40.8 % to RM6.31 billion, marking the sixth month in a row of double-digit year-on-year growth since March 2021. Higher LNG exports, metal, crude petroleum, wood goods, and palm oil and palm oil-based agricultural products all contributed to the increase.

Compared to the same period in 2020. Trade with Japan increased by 21.9 % to RM97.46 billion from January to August 2021. The exports climbed by 19.8 % to RM49.19 billion, owing to increasing exports of E&E items, metal manufacturers, and rubber products. Japan’s imports increased by 24.2 % to RM48.28 billion.

Whereas for trade with Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners which accounted for  67.3% of Malaysia’s total trade,  expanded by 19.5% y-o-y to RM114.31 billion in August 2021. Exports to FTA partners increased by 20% to RM64.98 billion and imports grew by 18.8% to  RM49.33 billion. 

Trade with FTA partners during the first eight months of 2021 which constituted 66.7% of Malaysia’s total trade, expanded by 23.1% to RM937.74 billion compared to the same period of 2020. Exports grew by 22.1% to RM519.84 billion and imports rose by 24.4% to RM417.9 billion.

Overall, the total imports in August 2021 grew by 12.5% y-o-y to RM74.2 billion.