Malaysia Trade


Malaysia: Exports continue to deteriorate in January

March 9, 2015

Exports declined 8.2% in annual terms in January, which was down from the 5.0% contraction tallied in December. The result undershot market expectations and marked the lowest reading in almost two years. According to the Department of Statistics, the deterioration in exports was mainly driven by a decline in shipments of refined petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, rubber, and palm oil. Conversely, exports of electronic products and crude petroleum increased compared to the same month of last year. Meanwhile, imports tumbled from a 3.6% drop in December to a 12.5% contraction in January, which marked the lowest reading in over five years.

The trade balance fell from a USD 2.6 billion surplus in December to a USD 2.5 billion surplus in January (January 2014: USD 1.9 billion). The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance ticked up from a USD 25.3 billion surplus in December to a USD 25.9 billion surplus in January.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to rise 3.4% in USD terms in 2015. Imports are expected to decline 4.5% in 2015, pushing the trade surplus to USD 29.3 billion. For 2016, the panel expects exports to grow 5.3%. With imports expected to rise 4.9% in 2016, panelists see the trade surplus widening to USD 31.7 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Malaysia Trade Chart

Malaysia Trade12m January 2015

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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