Malaysia Trade Balance April 2021


Malaysia: Merchandise exports gain steam in April

June 4, 2021

Merchandise exports soared to an over 20-year high, jumping 71.4% year-on-year in USD terms in April, on the heels of March’s 36.4% upturn. Similarly, exports in ringgit terms expanded 63.0%, logging the highest print in more than two decades and coming well above March’s 31.1% increase. However, the stelar results were flattered by a low base effect. April’s upturn largely reflecting skyrocketing shipments of shipments for electronic and electrical goods, as well as palm oil and palm oil based agricultural products.

Similarly, merchandise imports surged 30.9% year-on-year in USD terms in April (March: +24.1% yoy), marking the best print since July 2010. As a result, the merchandise trade balance recorded a USD 5.0 billion surplus in April (March 2021: USD 5.9 billion surplus; April 2020: USD 0.8 billion deficit). Lastly, the trend improved, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 55.6 billion surplus in April, compared to the USD 49.8 billion surplus in March.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project merchandise exports to grow 12.2% and imports to increase 15.8% in 2021, with the trade surplus rising to USD 42.8 billion. In 2022, our panelists see exports and imports expanding 6.8% and 8.7% respectively, with the trade surplus totaling USD 41.6 billion.


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Malaysia Trade Balance Chart

Malaysia Trade12m April 2021

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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