Malaysia's January trade rises 2.1pc to RM159.3b

Malaysia's export expansion in January was driven mainly by the manufacturing and mining sectors. — Reuters pic
Malaysia's export expansion in January was driven mainly by the manufacturing and mining sectors. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — Malaysia’s trade in January 2019 expanded 2.1 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach RM159.3 billion from the same month of last year, says the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti).

In a statement, Miti said exports registered an expansion of 3.1 per cent to RM85.41 billion, while imports grew by one per cent to RM73.89 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM11.52 billion, 19.2 per cent higher compared to January 2018.

This was the 255th consecutive month of trade surplus recorded since November 1997.

It said the export expansion in January was driven mainly by growth in the manufactured and mining sectors, which grew 2.9 per cent and 23.5 per cent respectively.

“Trade with Asean in January declined by 2.2 per cent to RM41.97 billion compared to January 2018, while exports grew by 3.4 per cent to RM24.98 billion with imports lower by 9.6 per cent to RM16.99 billion.

“Trade with China rose by 14.1 per cent y-o-y to RM28.92 billion, while exports increased by 9.1 per cent to RM11.02 billion and imports surged by 17.5 per cent to RM17.9 billion,” it added.

Miti said trade with the European Union (EU) slipped by 1.5 per cent y-o-y to RM15.29 billion. Exports to the EU grew by 4.3 per cent to RM8.73 billion in January, while imports contracted by 8.2 per cent to RM6.56 billion.

In terms of products, higher exports to the EU were contributed by manufactured goods, primarily E&E products, palm oil-based manufactured products, transport equipment, as well as textiles, apparels and footwear.

On total trade with the United States, the ministry said there was an increase of 2.7 per cent y-o-y to RM13.29 billion, with exports 9.4 per cent higher at RM7.95 billion as imports decreased 5.9 per cent to RM5.33 billion.

It said trade with Japan slipped by 1.8 per cent y-o-y to RM11.51 billion, with exports down by five per cent to RM6.67 billion, while imports registered an increase of 2.9 per cent to RM4.85 billion.

In January, other markets with significant growth in exports were Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Malaysia’s exports to Taiwan recorded a sturdy growth of 22.3 per cent y-o-y to RM2.84 billion, mainly driven by higher exports of E&E products.

Exports to the UAE expanded by 32 per cent to RM896.9 million, on account of higher exports of jewellery. — Bernama

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