According to DOSM, all but electrical and electronic products contributed to the decline in July’s exports.
Compared to July 2022, the exports of refined petroleum products dropped 48.3% to RM9.2 billion, while the exports of palm oil and palm oil-based products decelerated 34.6% to RM8 billion; liquefied natural gas declined 39.7% to RM3.8 billion. The exports of crude petroleum were down by 20.6% to RM2.1 billion, while timber and timber-based products dropped 10.3% to RM1.9 billion; natural rubber shrank 19.8% to RM335.2 million.
These were partly offset by exports of electrical and electronics (E&E) products that constituted 43.2% of total exports, which rose 7.3% to RM50.5 billion.
As for imports, the contraction was due to the decline of both imports of intermediate and capital goods, but partially offset by the increase in consumption goods. The three main categories of imports by end-use represented 68.7% of total imports.
Intermediate goods, making up 49.1% of total imports, fell by 20.9% to RM48.9 billion due to lower imports of parts and accessories of capital goods (except transport equipment), industrial supplies, fuel and lubricants, and food and beverage (F&B) products.
Capital goods, which contributed 10.6% of total imports, dropped 3.6% to RM10.5 billion, owing to the lower imports of transport equipment.
However, consumption goods, which made up 9% of total imports, increased by 5.9% to RM9 billion, resulting from the higher imports of F&B and durable goods.
Malaysia’s trade surplus, which is the difference between exports and imports, was RM17.09 billion in July, up 7.9% from the RM15.84 billion recorded in the same month a year earlier, marking three straight months of year-on-year growth, though at a declining rate.
However, the July trade surplus is 33.11% lower than the RM25.55 billion recorded in June, the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s (DOSM) data showed.
In June, Malaysia’s trade surplus grew 10.2% y-o-y from RM23.18 billion, and is up 62.7% from RM15.7 billion in May 2023. In May, the trade surplus was up 22.7% y-o-y from RM12.8 billion, and is up 24.3% from RM12.63 billion in April.
For the cumulative seven months of 2023 (7MFY2023), Malaysia’s trade surplus dipped 2.5% to RM135.35 billion from RM138.83 billion in the first seven months of 2022 (7MFY2022), as both exports and imports contracted.
Cumulative exports for 7MFY2023 fell 5.9% to RM820 billion from RM870.96 billion in 7MFY2022, while cumulative imports dropped 6.5% to RM684.65 billion from RM732.14 million.
This resulted in a lower total trade of RM1.5 trillion for 7MFY2023, down 6.1% from RM1.6 trillion posted previously.
By Justin Lim / theedgemarkets.com. 28 August 2023
Source: The Edge Markets. https://theedgemalaysia.com/node/680386. 3 September 2023.
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