PETALING JAYA: Malaysia registered its 38th consecutive month of trade surplus, since May 2020, with its trade balance widening by 11.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM25.81 billion in June 2023.
The trade surplus was recorded despite total trade dropping 16.3% y-o-y from RM265.4 billion in June 2022 to RM222.1 billion. Exports and imports, too, saw respective declines of 14.1% and 18.9%.
Chief statistician Uzir Mahidin said the drop in exports was influenced by both domestic shipments and re-exports.
“Domestic exports recorded RM93.8 billion, contributing 75.7% to total exports that registered a decrease of 15.2% in June 2023. Re-exports totalled RM30.2 billion, shrank by 10.3%, as compared to the preceding year,” said Uzir.
In terms of commodity groups, 144 out of 257 categories witnessed declines compared to the same month of the previous year, with refined petroleum products being the primary driver of the decrease in exports.
Exports to the US experienced the largest reduction, with a decrease of RM3.2 billion, followed by the European Union (-RM2.7 billion), Bangladesh (-RM1.9 billion), Japan (-RM1.8 billion), India (-RM1.7 billion), Thailand (-RM1.6 billion), China (-RM1.5 billion), Taiwan (-RM1.1 billion), and Hong Kong (-RM1.0 billion).
Meanwhile, imports fell 18.9% y-o-y from RM121.1 billion to RM98.2 billion. Negative growth was observed in 174 out of 259 commodity groups, as reported in the statement.
According to Uzir, the decline in imports can be attributed to reduced demand for intermediate goods, capital goods, and consumer goods.
“Imports of intermediate goods (48.5% of total imports), which amounted to RM47.6 billion, posted a double digit decrease of 25.7% or RM16.5 billion,” he said.
“Capital goods with a value of RM9.8 billion, shrank by 12.1% compared to June 2022 and comprised 9.9% of total imports.
“Meanwhile, consumption goods (8.3% of total imports), recorded an 11.8% decrease from RM9.2 billion in the previous year to RM8.2 billion,” he further added.
Notable declines of imports were observed from China (-RM6.1 billion), Taiwan (-RM2.7 billion), South Korea (-RM2.6 billion), the US (-RM2.5 billion), Singapore (-RM2.4 billion), Indonesia (-RM1.9 billion), Australia (-RM1.6 billion), the European Union (-RM1.6 billion), and India (-RM1.1 billion).