Malaysia: Exports rebound in February
April 11, 2011
In February, exports strengthened 10.6% over the same month the previous year, to total MYR 51.8 billion (USD 17.0 billion). The reading represents an acceleration compared to January's 4.5% increase and also overshot market expectations of a 5.0% rise. Moreover, the three-month moving sum of exports reached MYR 163 billion (USD 53.2 billion), just a notch below the MYR 165 billion (USD 54.6 billion) peak registered in January. 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 natural and manufactured gas. Exports of palm oil and palm oil-based products rose 21.9% over the same month the previous year, buttressed by a 41.6% price increase. In contrast, crude petroleum exports declined despite a rise in prices as the export volume dropped. Meanwhile, imports slowed from a 13.4% expansion in January to an 11.5% increase in February. As a result, the trade surplus widened from MYR 10 billion (USD 3.3 billion) in January to MYR 12.6 billion (USD 4.1 billion).