Malaysia: Exports grow at a solid pace in November, buttressed by exports of electronic equipment
January 5, 2018
Exports grew 18.9% year-on-year in November, surpassing October’s already solid 18.1% increase. The robust growth was mainly supported by accelerating, double-digit growth of electrical and electronic equipment exports, which represented 38.0% of total exports. Exports of liquefied natural gas also recorded a sizeable rise, while other main export categories, such as palm-oil products and refined petroleum products, logged smaller increases from the previous year.
The robust print fed into the 12-month trailing sum of exports, annual growth of which increased to a six-year high of 14.2% in November from 13.4% in October. This brought the total sum of exports in the last 12 months to USD 215.3 billion, up 3.2 billion from October’s USD 212.1 billion.
Import growth decelerated slightly in November to 19.7% year-on-year, from 20.3% in October. The figure was driven by strong, but softening, growth in imports of intermediate goods (which make up 54.9% of total imports), followed by growth in imports of capital and consumption goods. The sum of imports in the 12 months up to November totaled USD 192.4 billion, a 2.9 billion increase over October’s USD 189.5 billion print, bringing the 12-month trailing growth rate to a six-year high of 14.9% (October: +14.3% year-on-year).
The trade surplus came in at USD 2.4 billion in November, up from the USD 2.1 billion surplus recorded in the same month of the prior year but just below the USD 2.5 billion surplus registered in October. In the 12 months up to November, the trade surplus totaled USD 22.9 billion, up from USD 22.6 billion in October and the strongest result since May 2016.
Author: Joffrey Simonet, Economist