Malaysia Trade Balance September 2021


Malaysia: Merchandise exports growth gains steam in September

November 11, 2021

Merchandise exports grew 23.9% year-on-year in USD terms in September, above August’s 17.1% increase. Similarly, exports in ringgit terms expanded 24.7% (August: 18.4% yoy). September’s improvement was chiefly driven by marked growth in shipments of petroleum products and in palm oil exports. Similarly, merchandise imports rose at a quicker pace of 25.7% year-on-year in USD terms in September (August: +11.3% yoy), while in ringgit terms imports grew 26.5% (August: +12.5% yoy).

As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 6.3 billion surplus in September (August 2021: USD 5.0 billion; September 2020: USD 5.3 billion surplus). Similarly, the trend improved, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 57.3 billion surplus in September compared to the 56.4 billion surplus in August.

Commenting on the outlook for trade, analysts at EIU said:

“We forecast the trade surplus to remain large in 2022-26. The composition of exports and imports will remain the same as in the historical period. Shipments of electronic and electrical goods will continue to exceed those of mineral fuels by a wide margin. Malaysia will remain embedded in the global electronic goods supply chain, producing components such as semiconductors for mobile devices and automotive and computer parts. However, the manufacture of these goods relies on imported inputs, meaning that any increase in orders of electronic goods also leads to a swelling of the import bill.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project merchandise exports to grow 6.4% and imports to increase 8.0% in 2022, with the trade surplus rising to USD 50.7 billion. In 2023, our panelists see exports and imports expanding 7.8% and 11.7% respectively, with the trade surplus totaling USD 44.5 billion.


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Malaysia Trade Balance Chart

Malaysia Trade12m September 2021 0

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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