Malaysia: Exports decline at the fastest pace in more than three years
April 5, 2013
In February, exports fell 9.5% in USD terms over the same month last year, the steepest decline in 41 months, which contrasted the 7.7% increase observed in January and overshot market expectations. According to the Department of Statistics, a lower number of working days due to the Lunar New Year contributed to lower exports in February. The agency registered lower shipments of electrical and electronic products, crude petroleum as well as palm oil. As a result, in the 12 months up to February, exports decreased 1.1% over the same period last year (January: +0.7% year-on-year).
Meanwhile, imports fell 6.2% in February, which contrasted the 20.7% rise recorded in January. Accordingly, imports grew 4.9% in annual terms in the last 12 months (January: +6.7% yoy).
Finally, the trade surplus reached USD 2.7 billion in February. As a result, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance reached USD 28.2 billion in February, which was below the USD 29.1 billion surplus tallied in January.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect exports to grow 5.8% in USD terms in 2013, while the trade surplus will reach USD 32.0 billion. For 2014, the panel expects exports to grow 6.9%, while the trade surplus will widen to USD 34.6 billion.