Malaysia: Exports continue to tumble in April
June 3, 2019
Exports fell 4.5% year-on-year in April in USD terms, marginally improving from the 4.7% drop registered in March. A marked contraction in foreign demand for palm oil and palm oil-based products, as well as crude petroleum, led the decline. In contrast, export growth of electrical and electronic products was robust, while foreign purchases of refined petroleum products increased and LNG exports also jumped year-on-year in April. In ringgit terms, exports edged higher 1.1% year-on-year.
Imports, meanwhile, shrank 1.4% in May in USD terms, recovering somewhat from the 4.5% decline recorded in March. This reflected a broad-based improvement in domestic demand for foreign products. In ringgit terms, imports grew 4.4%.
Consequently, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 2.6 billion in April, from USD 3.5 billion in March and USD 3.4 billion in May 2018. The 12-month moving sum of the trade surplus in April, meanwhile, fell to USD 29.7 billion from USD 30.4 billion a month earlier.
Author: Steven Burke, Economist