Selangor Journal
Containers at the Northport container facility in Port Klang, Klang. — File Picture SELANGORKINI

Malaysia maintains upward trade performance, expands by 1.9 pct in January 2023 — Miti

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Malaysia maintained its impressive trade performance in January 2023 with trade, exports and imports registering the highest monthly value for the month of January.

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) said in a statement today that trade expanded by 1.9 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM207.51 billion with exports rising by 1.6 per cent to RM112.84 billion and 2.3 per cent higher imports to RM94.67 billion.

Miti noted that the trade surplus amounted to RM18.16 billion, a decrease of 2.1 per cent, which marked the 33rd consecutive month of trade surplus since May 2020.

“The export expansion was bolstered by strong exports of petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as electrical and electronic (E&E) products.

“Exports to major trading partners notably Asean and Japan recorded double-digit growth. Compared to December 2022, trade, exports, imports and trade surplus contracted by 11.8 per cent, 14.4 per cent, 8.6 per cent and 35.5 per cent respectively, due to shorter working days and long festive holidays,” it shared.

In January 2023, Miti said exports of manufactured goods which accounted for 84.2 per cent of total exports decreased by 0.1 per cent y-o-y to RM94.97 billion due to lower exports of manufactures of metal, rubber products as well as iron and steel products.

On the other hand, expansion in exports was seen for petroleum products, E&E products, optical and scientific equipment as well as beverages and tobacco. Collectively, exports of petroleum products and E&E products accounted for 52.2 per cent of Malaysia’s total exports and rose by RM7.66 billion, it noted.

Miti also highlighted that exports of mining goods (9.1 per cent share) soared by 50.1 per cent y-o-y to RM10.23 billion, the 22nd successive month of double-digit growth which was led by higher exports of LNG while exports of agriculture goods (6.2 per cent share) declined by 19.8 per cent to RM7.01 billion compared to January 2022 due to lower exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.

On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, the ministry said exports of mining goods edged up by 5.8 per cent while exports of manufactured and agriculture goods declined by 14 per cent and 36.4 per cent, respectively.

On trade with major markets in January, Miti said Asean contributed 26.6 per cent to Malaysia’s total trade, rising by 5.6 per cent y-o-y to RM55.26 billion with exports growing by 10.7 per cent to RM34.1 billion, the 18th consecutive month of double-digit growth, underpinned by higher exports of petroleum products and E&E products.

Imports from Asean, however, declined by 1.8 per cent to RM21.16 billion, it noted.

“Exports to Asean major markets that recorded increases were Singapore which grew by RM2.86 billion, on account of robust exports of E&E products and Thailand up by RM431.4 million on the back of petroleum products exports.

“Compared to December 2022, trade, exports and imports dropped by 11.6 per cent, 10.3 per cent and 13.6 per cent respectively,” it said.

In January 2023, trade with China made up 17.8 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade contracted by 7.9 per cent y-o-y to RM37.01 billion.

“Exports to China were valued at RM14.98 billion, declining by 11.9 per cent on lower exports of iron and steel products as well as petroleum products, but higher exports were recorded for chemicals and chemical products as well as E&E products.

“Imports from China slipped by 4.9 per cent to RM22.03 billion. Compared to December 2022, trade, exports and imports reduced by 11.7 per cent, 16.6 per cent and 8.1 per cent respectively,” said Miti.

Trade with the United States (US) in January 2023, which accounted for nine per cent of Malaysia’s total trade rose by 1.2 per cent y-o-y to RM18.72 billion with exports amounting to RM12.05 billion, a marginal decrease of 0.6 per cent due to lower exports of iron and steel products as well as wood and rubber products.

However, it said the contraction was cushioned by higher exports of E&E products, petroleum products as well as palm oil and palm oil based agriculture products.

Imports from the US edged up by 4.7 per cent to RM6.67 billion and on a m-o-m basis, trade, exports and imports shrank by 16.8 per cent, 22 per cent and 5.3 per cent respectively, it said.

Trade with the European Union (EU) which represented 8.2 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade grew by 3.5 per cent y-o-y to RM17.09 billion with exports rising by 1.4 per cent to RM9.35 billion, aided by robust exports of petroleum products, manufactures of metal as well as machinery, equipment and parts while imports from the EU expanded by 6.1 per cent to RM7.74 billion.

Trade with Japan which comprised 6.8 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade rose by 8.8 per cent y-o-y to RM14.09 billion and exports increased by 13.2 per cent to RM8.19 billion, the 23rd successive month of double-digit expansion contributed by higher exports of LNG while imports expanded by 3.2 per cent to RM5.9 billion.

As for trade with Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners which took up 68.2 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade, Miti said it increased by 0.9 per cent y-o-y to RM141.46 billion with exports rising by 3.9 per cent to RM80.03 billion and imports slipping by 2.6 per cent to RM61.44 billion.

Higher exports were recorded to Australia, which grew by 27.8 per cent to RM3.63 billion, and exports to New Zealand surged by 176 per cent to RM821 million, supported by strong exports of petroleum products, it said.

For imports performance in January 2023, Miti said the three main categories of imports for end use, which accounted for 70.3 per cent, include intermediate goods, capital goods and consumption goods.

“Intermediate goods, valued at RM48.56 billion or 51.3 per cent of total imports, decreased by 3.9 per cent, following lower imports of parts and accessories for non-transport capital goods.

“Capital goods, valued at RM9.7 billion or 10.2 per cent of total imports, declined by 1.7 per cent, due to lower imports of non-transport capital goods and consumption goods, valued at RM8.25 billion or 8.7 per cent of total imports, slipped by 4.7 per cent, as a result of lower imports of durables,” Miti added.

— Bernama

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