Trade Plunges 14.4% To RM216.4 Billion In July 2023 On Subdued Exports: DOSM

MTT Shipping

Amidst an increasingly challenging global economy, Malaysia’s trade performance contracted in July 2023, falling by 14.4 per cent to RM216.4 billion as compared to a year ago.

Exports recorded a decrease of 13.1 per cent to RM116.8 billion, while imports declined by 15.9 per cent to RM99.7 billion.

However, Malaysia’s trade balance remained in surplus with RM17.1 billion in July 2023 as reported by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) today (Aug 18) in its Malaysia External Trade Statistics Bulletin, July 2023 which presented the performance of export and import products with its trading partners.

Malaysia’s total trade registered a value of RM216.4 billion in July 2023 as compared to RM252.8 billion in the same month of preceding year, with a contraction of 14.4 per cent or RM36.4 billion.

Exports and imports were also recorded a negative double-digit growth, weakened by 13.1 per cent and 15.9 per cent respectively, year-on-year (y-o-y). On the contrary, the trade surplus rose by 7.9 per cent or RM1.3 billion to post a value of RM17.1 billion.

In comparison to June 2023, exports subdued by 5.8 per cent or RM7.2 billion, the total trade reduced 2.7 per cent or RM5.9 billion, while trade surplus tapered off by 33.1 per cent or RM8.5 billion. Nevertheless, imports inched up by 1.3 per cent or RM1.3 billion.

Chief Statistician Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin said, “The drop in exports was driven by both, domestic exports and re-exports. Domestic exports worth RM89.1 billion, contributing 76.3 per cent to total exports, fell by 13.0 per cent in July 2023. Re-exports amounted RM27.6 billion, shrank by 13.5 per cent, as compared to July 2022. Imports was lower by 15.9 per cent from RM118.5 billion to RM99.7 billion. Meanwhile, Malaysia’s trade surplus in July 2023 widened 7.9 per cent or RM1.3 billion as compared to the previous year to RM17.1 billion.

“This was the 39th consecutive month of trade surplus since May 2020. A monthly comparison showed exports contracted by 5.8 per cent, while imports grew by 1.3 per cent compared to June 2023.”

From the perspective of the commodity group, 144 out of 258 export groups showed decreases as compared to the same month of the previous year and led by refined petroleum products. As for imports, 143 out of 258 groups recorded negative growth.

Exports, imports, total trade and trade surplus posted a negative growth for the period of January to July 2023 as compared to the same period of the preceding year. Exports, imports and total trade flatten by 5.9 per cent, 6.5 per cent and 6.1 per cent respectively while trade surplus decreased marginally with 2.5 per cent.

The fall in exports were attributable from the decline in petroleum products (-RM9.2 billion); palm oil & palm oil-based agricultural products (-RM2.9 billion); liquefied natural gas (-RM2.5 billion); palm oil-based manufactured products (-RM1.3 billion) and machinery, equipment & parts (-RM1.1 billion).

Meanwhile, the contraction in imports was recorded for petroleum products (-RM5.7 billion); electrical & electronic products (-RM5.4 billion); chemical & chemical products (-RM1.3 billion); transport equipment (-RM536.3 million); manufactures of metal (-RM495.3 million) and palm oil & palm oil-based agricultural products (-RM485.4 million).

Adding to this, Dato’ Sri Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin said, “The decrease in imports by End Use was contributed from lower demand for intermediate goods and capital goods. Imports of intermediate goods (49.1% of total imports) amounted to RM48.9 billion, posted a double digit decrease of 20.9 per cent or RM12.9 billion.

Capital goods with a value of RM10.5 billion, shrank by 3.6 per cent as compared to July 2022 and comprised 10.6 per cent of total imports. Consumption goods (9.0% of total imports), recorded 5.9 per cent increase from RM8.5 billion in the previous year to RM9.0 billion.”

During the first seven months of 2023, total trade, exports, imports and trade surplus registered a contraction. Total trade decreased by 6.1 per cent, as a result of the decline in exports (-5.9%) as well as imports (-6.5%). At the same time, the trade surplus declined 2.5 per cent as compared to the same period in 2022.

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