Malaysia Trade Balance May 2020


Malaysia: Merchandise exports contract at fastest pace since 2009 in May

June 29, 2020

Merchandise exports plunged 28.5% in annual USD terms in May, surpassing April’s 27.9% fall, and marking the sharpest fall since July 2009. In ringgit terms, exports fell 25.5% (April: -23.8% year-on-year).

May’s decline was driven by falls in electrical and electronic products and refined petroleum products, with chemicals and chemical products, palm oil and palm-based products and liquefied natural gas also contracting markedly. Looking at Malaysia’s top export destinations, Chinese demand increased while demand from the United States and Singapore fell sharply.

Imports fell at an even faster pace, declining 33.2% in USD terms in May (April: -12.8% yoy). In ringgit terms, imports decreased 30.4% in May (April: -8.0% yoy). The decline was driven by sharp falls in imports of intermediate, capital and consumption goods.

The trade balance moved from a USD 0.8 billion deficit in April to a USD 2.4 billion surplus in May. The 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus increased to USD 29.8 billion in May from April’s USD 29.6 billion.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project merchandise exports to contract 11.8% and imports to decline 10.4% in 2020, with the trade surplus shrinking to USD 26.4 billion. In 2021, our panelists see exports and imports growing 6.9% and 6.8% respectively, with the trade surplus totaling USD 28.5 billion.


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Malaysia Trade Balance Chart

Malaysia Trade12m May 20 20

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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