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