Malaysia: Export growth edges up in July
September 5, 2018
Export growth accelerated in July due to strong foreign demand for electrical and electronic products, while exports of palm oil and palm oil-based products, and refined petroleum products contracted. Overall, exports expanded 15.9% year-on-year in USD value terms, up from the previous month’s revised 15.6% expansion (previously reported: +15.2% yoy). In ringgit terms, export growth in July picked up to 9.4% yoy from 7.6% in June, notably above market expectations of a moderation to 6.6%.
Import growth moderated from a revised 24.1% yoy in June (previously reported: +23.0% yoy) to 16.8% in July in USD value terms. The slowdown came on the back of a small contraction in Malaysian demand for intermediate goods, while the growth of capital goods imports eased from June’s reading. Growth in imports of consumption goods, however, more than doubled from the previous month. In ringgit terms, growth in imports also decelerated from 14.9% in June to 10.3% in July.
As a result, Malaysia’s trade surplus widened from USD 1.5 billion in June to USD 2.0 billion in July, a notch above the USD 1.9 billion surplus recorded in July of last year. Subsequently, the 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus widened from USD 28.1 billion in June to USD 28.3 billion in July.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist