KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s exports surprisingly fell in May as global oil prices remained weak, while imports rebounded, exerting pressure on the country’s trade surplus, government data showed on Friday.
Exports in May fell 0.9 percent from a year earlier, compared with a median forecast for a 2.6 percent rise in a Reuters poll, and down from the 1.6 percent growth recorded in April.
Annual exports of liquefied natural gas and crude oil in May fell 32.6 percent, despite slightly higher shipments of manufactured goods, according to data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry.
However, Malaysia’s imports in May rose 3.1 percent from a year earlier, rebounding from the previous month’s 2.3 percent decline.
May’s trade surplus was RM3.3 billion ($827.90 million), sharply down from RM9.1 billion in April.
Exports to China declined 12.2 percent due to lower exports of palm-oil and palm-based products.
Exports to the European Union grew 0.9 percent, while those to the United States rose 18.7 percent, driven by higher demand for electrical and electronic products.