Malaysia Trade Balance


Exports continue to rise in September

In September, exports rose 17.3% over the same month last year. The reading virtually mirrored the previous month's 17.2% increase but exceeded market expectations. The September print represented the 22nd consecutive month of double-digit growth. According to Statistics Malaysia, almost all major sectors recorded gains in October, in particular exports of liquefied natural gas, crude petroleum and electronics. Moreover, growth in exports benefited from higher shipments to Japan and China. Meanwhile, imports accelerated from a 12.9% increase in August to a 13.6% expansion in September. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed from USD 3.7 billion in August to USD 3.1 billion in September. However, the trade surplus in the third quarter expanded to USD 10.0 billion from USD 9.1 billion in the second, which suggests an improving net contribution of the external sector to third quarter GDP growth. Analysts reckon that the strong growth in exports seen so far this year may be drawing to an end as cooling global demand will dampen purchases of Malaysian goods. In addition, the floods that devastated Thailand are set to negatively impact shipments to that country in the coming months.

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