KUALA LUMPUR – AmBank Research has forecast Malaysia’s exports to grow between eight and 10 per cent in 2022, driven by strong global semiconductor demand due to increasing digitalisation.
In a research note, it said the growth projection was made despite some headwinds expected from supply disruptions in relation to the Ukraine conflict and recent China lockdowns.
“Also, firm commodity prices plus healthy foreign direct investment (FDI) and the ramification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) should further support exports,” it said.
AmBank noted that the electrical and electronics (E&E) segment of exports is expected to contribute positively, as it will benefit from the positive outlook of global semiconductor sales forecast at 8.8 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) for 2022 as chip makers continue to build up production capacity to meet demand.
However, it said the bright outlook from this segment is expected to face some headwinds from the ongoing Ukraine conflict as well as the new lockdowns in China.
“This will have some impact on the global supply chain that may cause some delays in companies meeting their order deliveries,” it said.
Meanwhile, Kenanga Research said it expects 2022 exports to grow 6.9 per cent compared with 26 per cent in 2021 amid heightened external risk.
Trade activity is expected to be rather challenging in the near term due to geopolitical tensions brought by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sent commodity prices higher.
“This would be further pressured by the Omicron wave and China’s zero-COVID-19 policy, which currently put many of its major cities on lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of the virus,” it said.
The research house expects raw material shortages and rising prices to remain elevated, likely disrupting the global supply chain and demand.
“Nonetheless, given Malaysia’s export diversification, the adverse effect of the heightened external risks is expected to be relatively manageable for now,” it added.