Malaysia: Exports decline for fourth consecutive month in May
July 18, 2013
Exports fell for the fourth straight month in May, declining 3.4% in USD terms over the same month last year. The reading came in below the 3.0% decline observed in April and undershot market expectations. According to the Department of Statistics, the result reflected lower shipments of animal and vegetable oils, miscellaneous transactions and commodities, mineral fuels, and miscellaneous manufactured articles. In the 12 months up to May, exports decreased 2.1% over the same period last year (April: -1.6% year-on-year).
Imports rose a meek 0.2% in May - well below the 9.5% increase recorded in April - and grew 4.3% in annual terms (April: +5.5% yoy).
The trade surplus reached USD 817 million in May, prompting the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance to fall to USD 23.6 billion, down from the USD 24.3 billion surplus tallied in April.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect exports to grow 2.6% in USD terms in 2013. Imports are seen growing 4.5%, pushing the trade surplus to USD 27.7 billion. For 2014, the panel expects exports to grow 6.9%. With imports rising 7.1%, they see the trade surplus widening to USD 28.3 billion.