October exports grew 17.9%, predicts RAM

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 6, 2017.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s exports are expected to continue with its double-digit growth momentum in October, expanding at a faster pace of 17.9%, RAM Rating Services Bhd said.

This is largely premised on expectations of a rebound in the growth of exports to Singapore and Japan, as well as a boost from the low-base effects of October last year, it added.

Exports rose 14.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) in September. RAM said mineral fuel exports are anticipated to support overall export growth through the next few months.

“This is on the back of markedly stronger Brent crude prices since September, which should lead to higher average export prices and, in turn, the nominal growth of mineral fuel exports. Brent crude prices typically lead the mineral fuel export unit value index by three [months] to four months,” the rating agency said in a statement yesterday.

On import growth, RAM expects it to increase by 20.2% y-o-y in October, given its strong correlation as a key input factor for exported goods and amid Malaysia’s close linkage with the global value chain.