Miti: Malaysia’s trade with Asean, major market Japan increased in Feb

File picture shows a container ship being anchored at North Port in Port Klang outside Kuala Lumpur January 8, 2009. — Reuters pic
File picture shows a container ship being anchored at North Port in Port Klang outside Kuala Lumpur January 8, 2009. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — Malaysia experienced double digit year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in February with nearly all its trading partners in Asean as well as major trading partner Japan.

In a press statement today, the International Trading and Industries Ministry (Miti) reported that trade with Asean in February expanded by 10 per cent y-o-y to RM36.17 billion and accounted for 25.6 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade.

“Exports to Asean valued at RM21.47 billion, surged by 14.6 per cent, the fastest growth since November 2018.

“The expansion was contributed by higher exports of petroleum products, iron and steel products, chemicals and chemical products as well as machinery, equipment and parts. Imports from Asean increased by 3.9 per cent to RM14.7 billion,” said the statement.

Trade with Singapore increased by 22.5 per cent (RM11.16 billion), Vietnam by 14.5 per cent (RM2.36 billion), Indonesia by 21.5 per cent (RM2.34 billion), Myanmar by 63.8 per cent (RM271.6 million), Philippines by 34.3 per cent (RM1.59 billion), Brunei by 16.4 per cent (RM172.2 million) and Laos by 72.4 per cent (RM4.3 million) y-o-y.

On the other hand, trade decreased with Thailand and Cambodia which went down by 12.3 per cent (RM3.47 billion) and 41.8 per cent (RM108.1 million) y-o-y respectively.

From January to February 2020, trade with Asean increased by 1.9 per cent to RM76.24 billion compared to the same period last year.

Exports to this region were valued at RM45.46 billion, up by 4 per cent owing to higher exports of petroleum products, iron and steel products as well as machinery, equipment and parts. Imports from Asean declined slightly by 1.2 per cent to RM30.78 billion.

From a y-o-y basis, significant export increases were recorded to Singapore, which expanded by RM2.05 billion due to higher exports of petroleum products, Indonesia (up by RM416.6 million — chemicals and chemical products) and the Philippines (up by RM404.6 million — iron and steel products).

However, when compared to January 2020, trade, exports and imports posted a decrease of 9.7 per cent, 10.5 per cent and 8.6 per cent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Malaysian exports to Japan rebounded after five consecutive months of decline.

February saw trade with Japan absorbing 7.9 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade which rose by 5.5 per cent y-o-y to RM10.73 billion. Exports amounted to RM5.6 billion which is a growth of 3.7 per cent and the first increase since September last year.

The expansion in exports were on the backs of optical and scientific equipment, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products as well as E&E products.

These products collectively expanded by 22.1 per cent to RM2.27 billion. Imports from Japan rose by 7.5 per cent to RM5.13 billion. On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, imports rose by 10.7 per cent, while trade and exports slipped by 4.1 per cent and 14.6 per cent.

The statement reported that over the first two months of 2020, trade with Japan increased by 1.1 per cent to RM21.93 billion compared to the same period of 2019.

Exports increased marginally by 0.8 per cent to RM12.16 billion, supported by higher exports of optical and scientific equipment, petroleum products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products as well as E&E products. Imports from Japan were higher by 1.5 per cent to RM9.77 billion.

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