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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 ― Malaysia’s trade surplus widened by 26.9 per cent to RM184.8 billion in 2020, the largest trade surplus ever recorded thus far, while total trade amounted to RM1.8 trillion, down 3.6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y), said the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).
Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said in tandem with softer global demand and unfavourable external economic conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, total exports in 2020 contracted by 1.4 per cent to RM981.0 billion from the preceding year, while imports declined by 6.3 per cent or RM53.2 billion to RM796.2 billion.
He said December 2020 recorded the highest monthly export value of RM95.7 billion, up by 10.8 per cent from the same month in 2019, outpacing import growth for eight consecutive months.
Mohd Uzir said after nine consecutive months of decline, imports rebounded to post a growth of 1.6 per cent to RM75.0 billion.
“Malaysia’s exports continued its positive momentum in December 2020. The expansion in exports was supported by both re-exports and domestic exports.
“Re-exports stood at RM17.6 billion, up 22.9 per cent, and contributed 18.4 per cent to the total exports, while domestic export was valued at RM78.1 billion, recording a growth of 8.3 per cent y-o-y,” he said in a statement today.
The trade surplus soared by 64.9 per cent to RM20.7 billion y-o- y, he noted.
Mohd Uzir said Malaysia's export expansion was supported mainly by higher export to Singapore (+RM2.2 billion), China (+RM1.9 billion), the United States (+RM1.7 billion), India (+RM1.62 billion), Hong Kong (+RM1.60 billion), and the European Union (+RM988.1 million).
The main products which contributed to the increase in exports were electrical and electronics products (+RM5.6 billion); rubber products (+RM3.0 billion) and palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products (+RM2.6 billion).
Meanwhile, increases in imports were mainly from China (+RM2.1 billion), India (+RM772.9 million), Hong Kong (+RM518.7 million) and Taiwan (+RM466.0 million).
The expansion in imports was noted for electrical and electronics products (+RM2.7 billion) and chemical and chemical products (+RM734.7 million). ― Bernama