Malaysia Trade Surplus Hits New Highs, Total Trade Stands At RM1.454 Trillion

Malaysia’s trade surplus in October 2020 widened to RM22.12 billion, registering a double digit growth of 25.9% year-on-year (y-o-y) and was the highest trade surplus ever recorded for the month of October.

Exports reached RM91.05 billion in October 2020, increased by 0.2% compared to October 2019. This was the third highest export value recorded thus far. The expansion was supported mainly by higher exports to the United States (US), China, India and the United Kingdom (UK). Imports totalled RM68.93 billion, decreased by 6% while total trade valued at RM159.98 billion, contracted by 2.5%. Compared to September 2020, total trade, exports and imports expanded by 2.6%, 2.4% and 2.9%, respectively. Trade surplus increased by 0.8%. For the first 10 months of 2020, trade surplus recorded a double digit growth of 16.3% to RM147.04 billion compared to the same period of 2019. Total trade was valued at RM1.454 trillion, a decline of 4.9%. Exports which totalled RM800.59 billion, slipped by 3.3% while imports was RM653.55 billion, declined by 6.8%.

Export Performance of Major Sectors Manufactured and Agriculture Goods Contributed to Export Growth in October
Exports of manufactured goods in October 2020 which contributed to 87.8% of total exports picked up by 2.5% y-o-y to RM79.94 billion. The growth was mainly due to higher exports of rubber products, electrical and electronic (E&E) products, other manufactures especially solid-state storage devices (SSD), iron and steel products as well as wood products. Exports of agriculture goods (7.9% share) surged by 28.7% to RM7.17 billion compared to October 2019 boosted mainly by higher shipments of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Exports of mining goods (3.9% share) contracted by 47.2% y-o-y to RM3.58 billion following lower exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), crude petroleum as well as petroleum condensates and other petroleum oil.

Trade with China in October 2020 rose by 5.4% y-o-y to RM28.97 billion, accounting for 18.1% of Malaysia’s total trade. Exports to China increased by 4.9% to RM14.27 billion mainly on higher exports of E&E products, iron and steel products, other manufactures (SSD), manufactures of metal as well as rubber products. Imports from China expanded by 5.9% to RM14.7 billion. Compared to September 2020, trade, exports and imports reduced by 6.1%, 8.3% and 3.9%, respectively. Trade with China during the period of January to October 2020 improved by 3.2% to RM266.12 billion.

Meanwhile trade with the US contributed 10.7% to Malaysia’s total trade, recording an expansion of 12.7% y-o-y to RM17.13 billion. Exports recorded a double digit growth for five consecutive months, expanding by 25.6% to RM11.23 billion. Increases in exports were recorded especially for rubber products, E&E products, wood products, machinery, equipment and parts as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.

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