Doube Digit External Trade Growth Rolls On

Strong double-digit growth in exports and imports continued in Sep 2022, trade surplus also widened, in 3Q 2022, exports and imports growth accelerated and trade surplus expanded even further, showing firmer export-based output, domestic demand, and net external demand last quarter.

The 14th consecutive month of double-digit export growth in Sep 2022 was underpinned by continued double-digit growth in manufacturing exports and mining exports as agriculture exports’ growth dipped. Manufacturing exports were driven by robust growth in E&E, Petroleum Products, Machinery, Appliances & Parts, Optical & Scientific Equipment, and Chemical & Chemical Products amid declines in Manufactures of Metals as well as Rubber Products’ 13th straight monthly decline.

Agriculture exports were dragged by the sharply slower Palm Oil amid easing export prices and lower export volume. Mining exports surged further, fuelled by LNG and Crude Oil on the back of export price increases amid LNG export volume growth and crude oil export volume drop.

Continued double-digit import growth was supported by all major segments i.e. Intermediate Goods; Imports for Re-Exports; Consumption Goods; Capital Goods.

Commodity and tech-related exports made up 24.5 percentage points while exports to EU held up despite Russia-Ukraine war disrupting commodity trade between Russia and EU, suggesting the commodity trade diversion effect benefitted Malaysia. Exports growth to US remained robust despite Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes. China’s recurring lockdowns resulted in swings in bilateral trade growth as per growth in exports and imports but overall was not massively disruptive.

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