China’s Exports, Imports Return To Growth, Signalling External Recovery Support For Malaysia’s Economy: MIDF

Shipments from China grew 1.5% year-on-year last month by value, customs data showed on Thursday, in line with the increase forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. They fell 7.5% in March, which marked the first contraction since November. 

MIDF Research, in Economic Brief today (May 10), said China exports rebounded in Apr-24, expanding +1.5%yoy (Mar-24: -7.5%yoy) and surpassing market expectations of +1.0%yoy growth.

Exports to the US and EU fell slower at -2.8%yoy (Mar-24: -15.9%yoy) and -3.6%yoy (Mar-24: -14.9%yoy), respectively. Shipments to ASEAN were more encouraging, surging to +8.1%yoy (Mar-24: -6.3%yoy), ending 2 months of contraction. In particular, this was contributed by stronger exports to Malaysia (covering over 16% of exports to ASEAN), increasing by +2.8%yoy (Mar-24: +1.9%yoy) and marking the 2nd month of expansion.

Imports also returned to growth at +8.4%yoy (Mar-24: -1.9%yoy), also higher than market consensus of +5.4%yoy. This was attributable to rebound in imports from ASEAN (Apr-24: +5.3%yoy; Mar-24: -3.9%yoy) with imports from Malaysia expanding by +13.3%yoy (Mar-24: -3.5%yoy).

Against the previous month, China’s exports growth moderated to +4.6%mom (Mar-24: +27.0%yoy) while imports declined -0.5%mom (Mar-24: +22.4%mom).

China’s improved trade performance with ASEAN suggests improvement in regional trade.

Increased China’s purchases from Malaysia also indicate Malaysia’s exports likely register stronger growth in Apr-24.

On that note, MIDF reiterates their projection that the external recovery will support Malaysia’s economy to grow faster at +4.7% this year.

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