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Malaysia Trade January 2023

Malaysia: Merchandise exports decrease in January

Merchandise exports contracted 1.6% over the same month last year in January (December: +1.1% year on year). January’s figure marked the worst contraction since May 2020. Meanwhile, merchandise imports decreased 0.9% over the same month last year in January (December: +6.4% yoy), marking the weakest result since November 2020.

As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 4.2 billion surplus in January (December 2020: USD 6.4 billion surplus; January 2022: USD 4.4 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend deteriorated, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 58.0 billion surplus in January, compared to the USD 58.2 billion surplus in December.

Analysts at the EIU commented on the outlook:

“Malaysia’s goods trade surplus will remain large in 2023-27. […] Malaysia will remain embedded in the global electronic goods supply chain […]. However, […] any increase in orders of electronic goods also leads to a swelling of the import bill. The services account will remain in deficit; this imbalance highlights Malaysia’s status as an export-oriented economy, with transport and insurance costs continuing to form a large part of the services debit bill.”

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