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Malaysia Trade December 2023

Malaysia: Merchandise exports drop at a more pronounced pace in December

Merchandise exports shrank 14.8% annually in December (November: -7.7% year-on-year). Meanwhile, merchandise imports declined 2.5% in annual terms in December (November: -0.2% yoy).

As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 2.5 billion surplus in December (November 2023: USD 2.6 billion surplus; December 2022: USD 6.3 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend deteriorated, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 47.1 billion surplus in December, compared to the USD 50.9 billion surplus in November.

UOB analysts Julia Goh and Loke Siew Ting commented on the outlook:

“For the full year of 2023, exports plunged the most since 2009 […]. However, this low base is expected to be a plus point to 2024’s export growth outlook. There are also signs of a further recovery in the regional trade amid an expected upturn in the global tech cycle, continued stabilisation in China’s economy, a soft landing in the world economy and gradual monetary policy easing by global central banks.”

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