Malaysia records largest 9-month trade surplus in past decade

Malaysia’s trade surplus for the January-September period was up 15% over the same period last year.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s trade surplus in the first nine months of 2019 widened by 15.3% to RM100.86 billion, compared with RM87.47 billion in the same period last year.

This was the largest January-September trade surplus recorded during the last 10 years, the international trade and industry ministry (MITI) said in a statement today.

In September, the trade surplus was valued at RM8.34 billion, a decline of 46.5% year-on-year. On a monthly basis, total trade, exports, imports and trade surplus declined 3.1%, 4.5%, 1.6% and 23.5%, respectively.

Total trade in the third quarter of 2019 (3Q19) contracted 3.7% to RM460.53 billion compared to Q3 2018.

Total exports reached RM247.02 billion, 1.9% lower from the same period last year, while imports contracted 5.8% to RM213.51 billion.

The trade surplus in 3Q19 recorded double-digit growth of 33.3% to RM33.51 billion from RM25.14 billion registered in the same quarter of last year.

Exports of manufactured goods in September contracted 5.8% to RM66.34 billion or 85.4% of total exports, mainly due to lower exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products as well as textiles, apparels and footwear.

However, increases were registered in exports of transport equipment, optical and scientific equipment as well as machinery, equipment and parts.

Exports to Asean countries decreased by 8.6% to RM21.62 billion, owing to lower exports of E&E products.

Trade with China rebounded 3.8% y-o-y in September after declining 7.9% in August, while trade with the European Union (EU) decreased by 3.3% y-o-y to RM13.47 billion.

Trade with the United States in September rose 3.8% y-o-y to RM13.79 billion, accounting for 9.4% of Malaysia’s total trade.