Malaysia Trade January 2016


Malaysia: Exports contract again in January

March 11, 2016

Exports in USD terms fell 21.3% annually in January, following the 17.6% contraction tallied in December. The contraction was more severe than analysts had expected and marks the largest drop since September 2009. The result marks 15 consecutive months of contraction, as global demand for key Malaysian exports dwindles. Meanwhile, imports declined 16.4% in January, which was a less severe contraction than the 16.6% fall recorded in the previous month.

The trade balance narrowed from a USD 1.9 billion surplus in December to a USD 1.2 billion surplus in January. The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance fell from USD 24.0 billion to USD 22.7 billion in January. The 12-month figure has been falling steadily since the middle of last year and indicates that declining oil and gas exports have not been completely offset by manufacturing exports.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to fall 2.6% in USD terms in 2016. Imports are expected to decline 2.6% in 2016, thus pushing the trade surplus to USD 24.6 billion. For 2017, the panel expects exports to grow 6.4%. With imports expected to rise 5.8% in 2017, panelists see the trade surplus falling to USD 26.9 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Malaysia Trade Chart

Malaysia Trade12m January 2016 0

Note: 12-month trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports.
Source: Department of Statistics Malaysia (DSM) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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