Malaysia Trade December 2016


Malaysia: Export growth moderates in December

February 8, 2017

Exports in USD terms grew 6.7% annually in December, which followed November’s robust 8.7% expansion. Similarly, year-on-year exports to Malaysia’s top three trading partners—China, Singapore and the European Union—were strong in December and recorded double-digit increases.

According to the National Statistical Institute, December’s expansion was broad-based as it reflected increases in exports of electronic products, palm oil and palm-based products and crude oil. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) was the only major category to record a decline but it could not prevent the month’s overall increase. Imports also increased in December (+7.6% year-on-year) but at a slower pace than November’s expansion (+12.1% year-on-year).

The trade balance narrowed slightly from a USD 2.1 billion surplus in November to a USD 2.0 billion surplus in December. The 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus was stable at November’s USD 21.0 billion in December—the lowest figure since June 2004.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to grow 1.5% in USD terms in 2017. Imports are expected to decline 0.5% in 2017, pushing the trade surplus to USD 22.7 billion. For 2018, the panel expects exports to grow 4.3%. With imports expected to rise 2.4% in 2018, panelists see the trade surplus rising to USD 23.8 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Malaysia Trade Chart

Malaysia Trade12m December 2016

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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