Malaysia: Exports hit record high in March
May 6, 2011
In March, exports climbed 18.2% over the same month the previous year, to reach USD 21.1 billion. The reading represents a slight moderation compared to February's 24.2% increase, but overshot market expectations. Moreover, the three-month moving sum of exports reached USD 56.0 billion, which was well above the USD 53.2 billion registered in February, and not far from the pre-crisis peak of USD 56.5 billion recorded in July 2008. According to Statistics Malaysia, the increase in exports was mostly due to higher shipments of electrical and electronic products, which represent more than a third of total exports, as well as refined petroleum and palm oil. Geographically, China remained the most important export destination and breached a new record. Meanwhile, imports slowed from a 25.2% expansion in February to a 22.8% increase in March. As a result, the trade surplus widened from USD 4.1 billion in February to USD 4.5 billion.