Malaysia’s January-May trade performance breaches RM1t

The trade performance also observed the fastest growth since November 2021, MITI says


MALAYSIA’S trade performance has surpassed the RM1 trillion mark between January and May 2022.

The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) said its five-month trade, exports, imports and trade surplus during the period has managed to register the highest value.

“Trade climbed by 25.1% to RM1.09 trillion compared to the same period last year. 

“Exports jumped by 23.5% to RM592.97 billion and imports leaped by 27% to RM491.85 billion while trade surplus edged up by 9% to RM101.12 billion,” it said in a statement today.

On the other hand, Malaysia’s trade performance in May this year observed the fastest growth since November 2021 in which it has increased 33.6% year-on-year (YoY) to RM228.37 billion.

The country’s exports have also hit a double-digit expansion by 30.5% to RM120.49 billion whereas imports rose 37.3% to RM107.88 billion and trade surplus contracted by 8.3% to RM12.62 billion.

MITI has also observed that Malaysia’s trade, exports and imports are the highest last month.

“The export growth was driven by higher demand for electrical and electronic (E&E) products, petroleum products as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.

“Exports of petroleum products registered an all-time high monthly value. Exports to major markets notably Asean, China, the US, the European Union and Japan recorded double-digit growth,” it added.

However, the country’s exports grew by 3.6% while the performance of total trade, exports and trade surplus showed declines of 1.4%, 5.6% and 46.3%, respectively, on a month-on-month basis.

Manufactured goods exports recorded an increase by 19.5% to RM499.51 billion compared to the same period of 2021 for the first five months of 2022 on the back of robust exports of E&E products, petroleum products, palm oil-based manufactured products, chemicals and chemical products, manufactured metal, machinery, equipment and parts as well as iron and steel products. 

Agriculture goods exports jumped 43.6% to RM48.13 billion supported by higher palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products exports while mining goods exports increased by 59.3% to RM42.5 billion owing to strong exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), crude petroleum, metalliferous ores and metal scrap, as well as petroleum condensates and other petroleum oil.

MITI also explained that Malaysia’s trade with China in May comprises 16.3% of its total trade. It increased by 11.1% YoY to RM37.17 billion, the 18th successive month of double-digit growth. 

“Exports to China registered a growth of 10.1% to RM15.27 billion following robust exports of E&E products. Imports from China increased by 11.9% to RM21.89 billion.

“Trade with the US in May 2022 which contributed 8.8% to Malaysia’s total trade grew by 22% YoY to RM20.06 billion. Exports were up by 15.5% to RM12 billion underpinned by strong exports of E&E products. Imports from the US rose by 33.1% to RM8.06 billion,” it added.

Moreover, exports to Singapore made up a majority of increase among Asean markets which were RM5.33 billion, due to higher exports of E&E products. 

This is followed by Thailand (RM1.54 billion from LNG), Indonesia (RM1.8 billion from petroleum products), Vietnam (RM821.8 million from E&E products) and the Philippines (RM1.06 billion from palm oil and palm oil- based agriculture products).

Exports to all EU major markets recorded expansion notably to the Netherlands which increased by RM975.5 million on the back of higher demand for palm oil-based manufactured products, Germany (RM149.1 million: E&E products) and Italy (RM175.5 million: palm oil-based manufactured products).

In terms of exports with free trade agreement partners, Hong Kong increased by 53.6% to RM7.66 billion and Korea (34.3% to RM4.22 billion) as a result of growing exports of E&E products. 

Malaysia’s exports to Australia rose by 18.3% to RM3.8 billion due to higher exports of crude petroleum, India (12.9% to RM4.25 billion: palm oil- based manufactured products), Turkey (38.1% to RM1.65 billion: palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products) and New Zealand (226.8% to RM753.7 million: petroleum products).

MITI also shared that the country’s total imports in May grew 37.3% YoY to RM107.88 billion 

“Intermediate goods, valued at RM62.95 billion or 58.4% of total imports, increased by 34.1%, following higher imports of parts and accessories of capital goods (except transport equipment) particularly electrical machinery, equipment and parts.

“Capital goods, valued at RM8.84 billion or 8.2% of total imports, contracted by 0.8% due to lower imports of capital goods (except transport equipment), primarily electrical machinery, equipment and parts.

“Consumption goods, valued at RM8.51 billion or 7.9% of total imports, rose by 19.3%, as a result of higher imports of non-durables mainly for pharmaceutical products,” the ministry explained.

Imports rose by 27% to RM491.85 billion in the five-month period while imports of intermediate goods declined by 7.3% to RM279.59 billion, capital goods (9.1% to RM45.17 billion) and consumption goods (20.2% to RM41.16 billion).