Malaysia. August exports exceed survey, boost from palm oil and semicon


Malaysia's exports rose 1.5% to RM67.58bil in August from a year ago, exceeding economists' expectations of a decline of 2.3%, underpinned by higher exports of palm oil, and electrical and electronic (E&E) products including semiconductors.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry said on Friday when compared to July's exports of RM59.85bil, exports rose 12.9% to RM67.58bil in August, as exports to Singapore, China and the US increased.

MTI pointed out that in seasonally adjusted terms, exports rose 9.0%.

August's exports were mainly driven by an increase in palm oil and palm based-products, which rose RM1.1bil or 19.7% from RM5.6bil. Exports of E&E products increased 3% or RM743mil to RM25.82bil from RM25.08bil a year ago.

There was also a 13.9% growth in crude petroleum exports to RM1.92bil from RM1.69bil contributed by the increase in export volume (+31.3%) as average unit value dropped 13.2%. Timber and timber-based products grew RM131mil or 7.4% from RM1.8bil.

Malaysia's better performance when compared to July was due to the rise in exports in August were mainly to China (+RM2bil), India (+RM972.6mil),Singapore (+RM858.7mil), European Union (+RM812.2mil) and the US (+RM592.8mil).

MITI said imports grew RM2.7bil or 4.9% to RM59.07bil from RM56.33bil a year ago, mainly due to intermediate goods, capital goods and consumption goods. The imports were higher than the survey of a 2% increase.

Imports of intermediate goods rose RM2bil (+6.1%) from RM32.5bil. The main components which contributed to the increase were industrial supplies, processed (+RM2.1bil, +16.9%) and parts & accessories of capital goods (except transport equipment) (+RM257.1mil, +2.1%).

Imports of capital goods grew RM664.4mil (+ 9.0%) from RM7.4bil due to the increase in both capital goods
(except for transport equipment) and transport equipment, industrial.

MITI pointed out there was 10.4% increase in the imports of consumption goods by RM496.8mil from RM4.8bil. The rise was contributed by non-durables (+RM161.6mi, +14.1%), food & beverages, primary, mainly for household consumption (+RM106.1mil, +15.8%) and durables (+RM92.8 million, +15.3%).

“On a month-on-month basis, the higher imports were mainly from China (+RM932.6mil), Saudi Arabia (+RM664.9mil), Vietnam (+RM543.4mil), India (+RM470.4mil) and Indonesia (+RM444.2mil),” it said.

MITI said total trade in August 2016 was RM126.7bil, an increase of RM8.9bil or 7.5% from July. Total trade grew 3.0% or RM3.7bil on-year.

In August, the country recorded a trade surplus of RM8.5bil, which was a jump of 346% or RM6.6bil in July. However, the trade surplus fell RM1.7bil or 16.9% on-year.


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