KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 27): Malaysia’s trade performance continued its growth momentum in July 2021, with total trade increasing by 13% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM180.96 billion, marking the sixth consecutive month of double-digit growth since February 2021.
According to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), exports grew by 5% to RM97.32 billion, the 11th consecutive month of y-o-y expansion since September 2020, while imports rose by 24% y-o-y to RM83.64 billion.
“On that note, the trade surplus contracted 45.8% to RM13.68 billion,” it said in a statement today.
MITI said the export growth was backed by higher shipments of petroleum products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products as well as chemicals and chemical products driven by robust external demand.
Exports to major markets, namely ASEAN, the European Union (EU) and Japan, recorded positive growth.
On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, imports increased by 0.5%, while trade, exports and the trade surplus declined by 4.1%, 7.7% and 38.5% respectively, MITI noted.
For the first seven months of 2021, MITI said trade expanded by 23.9% to RM1.237 trillion from the same period last year.
“Exports grew by 25.9% to RM682.9 billion and imports rose by 21.6% to RM554.17 billion, while the trade surplus surged by 48.8% to RM128.74 billion,” MITI added.
The ministry said in July 2021, the major sectors all recorded export growth.
“Exports of manufactured goods, which represented 85.1% of total exports, rose by 2.3% y-o-y to RM82.85 billion, with petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products as well as palm oil-based manufactured products registering more than RM1 billion expansion in exports,” it said.
Agriculture goods exports (8.7% share) recorded a double-digit growth of 29.2% to RM8.47 billion compared to July 2020, while mining goods exports (5.8% share) rose by 18.3% y-o-y to RM5.65 billion.
On the trade performance with major markets, MITI said in July 2021, trade with ASEAN grew by 10.5% y-o-y to RM45.3 billion, contributing to 25% of Malaysia’s total trade, with exports expanding by 7.9% to RM27.65 billion, while imports from ASEAN rose by 14.7% to RM17.65 billion.
In July 2021, trade with China recorded a double-digit growth of 15% y-o-y to RM33.89 billion, which made up 18.7% of Malaysia’s total trade, the eighth consecutive month of double-digit expansion.
“Exports to China contracted by 8.1% to RM14.34 billion due to lower exports of petroleum products, while imports expanded by 40.9% to RM19.54 billion,” it said.
Trade with the US in July 2021 increased by 1.8% y-o-y to RM17.79 billion, representing 9.8% of Malaysia’s total trade, while trade with the EU, which accounted for 8.3% of Malaysia’s total trade in July 2021, increased by 19.7% y-o-y to RM14.94 billion.
As for trade with Japan in July 2021, which comprised 6.4% of Malaysia’s total trade, it expanded by 15.7% y-o-y to RM11.53 billion, with exports up by 11.4% to RM5.85 billion, the fifth consecutive month of double-digit y-o-y expansion since March 2021, attributable to higher exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Imports from Japan, meanwhile, increased by 20.5% to RM5.68 billion.
Trade with free trade agreement (FTA) partners, which made up 64.5% of Malaysia’s total trade, increased by 10.9% y-o-y to RM116.68 billion.