KUALA LUMPUR (July 28): Malaysia’s trade rose 26% to RM1.06 trillion in the first half of this year (1H21), from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
Exports in 1H21 increased by 30.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM585.56 billion, despite the nationwide full lockdown imposed from June 1, while imports grew 21.1% y-o-y to RM470.53 billion. This was the highest ever half-year value recorded for trade, exports and imports, said the ministry in a statement today.
The trade surplus, meanwhile, surged by 87.7% y-o-y to RM115.04 billion in 1H21.
In a separate statement, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said Malaysia's total trade in June expanded 29.3% y-o-y, continuing its growth momentum for seven consecutive months in tandem with the global trade performance.
DOSM chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the expansion in exports in June was in line with the global economic recovery.
"The opening of economic activities in more countries signified better external demand. Exports in June increased by 27.2% y-o-y, driven by both domestic exports and re-exports, while imports in that same month rose 32.1% y-o-y, outpacing export growth for two consecutive months," he said.
He added that the month-on-month performance of exports, imports, total trade and the trade surplus also showed an upward trend of 14.3%, 5.9%, 10.4% and 61.7% respectively.
According to the DOSM, the expansion in exports was driven by petroleum products (+RM5.1 billion), electrical and electronics (E&E) products (+RM4.6 billion), rubber products (+RM3.7 billion), palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products (+RM2.4 billion), chemicals and chemical products (+RM2.3 billion), palm oil-based manufactured products (+RM1.3 billion) and manufacture of metal (+RM1.3 billion).
Meanwhile, a rise in imports was noted for petroleum products (+RM4.5 billion), E&E products (+RM3.6 billion), chemicals and chemical products (+RM2.9 billion), manufacture of metal (+RM1.6 billion), transport equipment (+RM1.4 billion) and rubber products (+RM976.7 million).
The DOSM also revealed the final external trade statistics for 2020, which showed that exports amounted to RM983.8 billion, down 1.1% from 2019.
Imports shrank 5.8% to RM800.4 billion last year, while total trade amounted to RM1.9 trillion, a 3.3% decline from 2019. The trade surplus accelerated by 25.9% to RM183.3 billion.