Malaysia Trade Balance May 2021


Malaysia: Merchandise exports growth eases in May but remains solid

July 2, 2021

Merchandise exports skyrocketed 55.4% year-on-year in USD terms in May, but eased from April’s 71.4% jump. Similarly, exports in ringgit terms soared 47.3% in May, but came in below April’s 63.0% stellar growth. That said, May’s result was partly flattered by a favorable base effect. May’s slowdown was chiefly driven by a softer growth in shipments for electronic and electrical goods, as well as for petroleum products.

Meanwhile, merchandise imports jumped 58.6% year-on-year in USD terms in May (April: +31.0% yoy), marking the best result since March 2010—albeit also partly favored by a low-base effect. As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 3.3 billion surplus in May (April 2021: USD 4.9 billion surplus; May 2020: USD 2.4 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed up, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 56.5 billion surplus in May, compared to the USD 55.6 billion surplus in April.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project merchandise exports to grow 16.8% and imports to increase 19.5% in 2021, with the trade surplus rising to USD 46.4 billion. In 2022, our panelists see exports and imports expanding 7.4% and 9.2% respectively, with the trade surplus totaling USD 45.6 billion.


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Malaysia Trade Balance Chart

Malaysia Trade12m May 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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