Malaysia: Exports decelerate for sixth month in a row
November 3, 2010
In September, exports increased 6.9% over the same month last year to reach MYR 50.5 billion (USD 16.2 billion). The reading marked the sixth consecutive month of decelerating exports and thus suggests that external demand may be losing steam. The deceleration reflected a 0.8% year-on-year drop in exports of electrical and electronic products, which account for more than a third of total exports. Moreover, exports of liquefied natural gas decelerated as well (August: +86.6% yoy; September: +67.4% yoy), whereas sales of palm oil and palm oil-based products rose slightly (August: +8.3% yoy; September: +12.3% yoy). Imports moderated as well, albeit less markedly, from a 16.4% expansion in August to a 14.7% increase in September. As a result, the trade surplus fell from MYR 8.4 billion (USD 2.7 billion) in August to MYR 7.0 billion (USD 2.2 billion). Despite the vigorous recovery observed throughout the year, exports remain below pre-crisis levels, as the 3-month average fell to MYR 52.9 billion (USD 16.8 billion) in September, which is well below the peak of MYR 61.7 billion (USD 18.5 billion) reached two years ago (September 2008).