KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 ― Malaysia’s trade surplus in July 2023 increased by 7.9 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM17.09 billion and was the 39th consecutive month of trade surplus since May 2020.

The Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) said total trade fell by 14.4 per cent to RM216.41 billion due to softer global demand and lower commodity prices.

“Exports decreased by 13.1 per cent to RM116.75 billion and imports contracted by 15.9 per cent to RM99.66 billion,” it said in the Malaysia External Trade Statistics-Trade Performance for July 2023, which was released today.


The performance was similar to other regional markets, notably Indonesia, China, Taiwan and South Korea, which recorded negative trade growth for July 2023.

Despite the decline, exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products remained robust while exports to major trading partners, notably China and the United States, rebounded in July 2023.

Compared with June 2023, imports grew by 1.3 per cent while trade, exports and trade surplus edged down by 2.7 per cent, 5.8 per cent and 33.1 per cent, respectively.


For the period of January to July 2023, trade was down by 6.1 per cent to RM1.505 trillion compared with the same period last year.

Exports dropped by 5.9 per cent to RM820 billion, imports fell by 6.5 per cent to RM684.65 billion and trade surplus shrank by 2.5 per cent to RM135.35 billion, respectively.

On the export performance of major sectors, the E&E products maintained an upward trend in July 2023, valued at RM50.45 billion and accounted for 43.2 per cent of total exports, increased by 7.3 per cent compared with July 2022.

Miti said exports of manufactured goods, which made up 86.7 per cent or RM101.25 billion of total exports, were reduced by 9.8 per cent y-o-y due to lower demand for petroleum products, palm oil-based manufactured products as well as machinery, equipment and parts.

Exports of agriculture goods (6.5 per cent share) totalled RM7.56 billion, slipped by 28.1 per cent against July 2022 on the back of lower exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products affected significantly by weaker export prices of palm oil.

Exports of mining goods (6.3 per cent share) declined by 33.6 per cent y-o-y to RM7.34 billion on slower exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude petroleum.

Other major exports in July include petroleum products, which decreased by 48.7 per cent and were valued at RM9.64 billion (8.3 per cent of total exports); while chemicals and chemical products were down 9.1 per cent to RM5.83 billion (five per cent of total exports).

Palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products decreased by 34.4 per cent valued at RM5.56 billion (4.8 per cent of total exports), and optical and scientific equipment declined by 4.2 per cent to RM4.88 billion (4.2 per cent of total exports).

On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, exports of agriculture and mining goods expanded by 1.8 per cent and 6.2 per cent, respectively, while exports of manufactured goods were lower by 6.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, from January to July 2023, exports of manufactured goods edged down by four per cent to RM702.11 billion versus the same period in 2022, owing mainly to slower exports of palm oil-based manufactured products, and manufactures of metal and rubber products.

However, strong exports of E&E products and petroleum products cushioned the impact of the decline.

Exports of mining goods shrank by 6.7 per cent to RM59.81 billion on the back of lower shipments of crude petroleum as well as petroleum condensates and other petroleum oil.

Exports of agriculture goods declined by 25.6 per cent to RM53.2 billion, dragged down mainly by lower exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products following a decrease in export prices of palm oil, said Miti. ― Bernama