M’SIA ON THE DECLINE? Exports in July down 5.3% year-on-year

PETALING JAYA – Malaysia’s exports in July 2016 declined 5.3% to RM59.9 billion, compared with RM63.2 billion in the previous year.

In a statement released yesterday, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry said the main products which contributed to the decrease include electrical and electronic (E&E) goods, liquefied natural gas (LNG), timber and timber-based products, natural rubber, as well as palm oil and palm-based products.

Government data showed that E&E products, which accounted for 36.3% of total exports, shrank 6% to RM21.7 billion; LNG dropped 25% due to the decrease in average unit value, while timber and timber-based products decreased 13.8% to RM1.6 billion.

Natural rubber declined 43.9% to RM271.4 million due to the decrease in both export volume and average unit value, whereby palm oil and palm-based products decreased 1.4% to RM5.7 billion, with palm oil, the major commodity in the group of products fell 9.6% due to the decline in export volume.

However, the ministry noted that refined petroleum and crude petroleum products had recorded an increase in export value by 11.7% and 8.7%, respectively.

On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, exports fell RM6.6 billion or 9.9% from RM66.4 billion previously, of which in seasonally adjusted terms, exports decreased by 10%.

Total trade in July 2016 decreased 5.1% to RM117.8 billion, from RM124.1 billion a year ago, with a decline of RM9.6 billion or 7.5% from the previous month.

July’s trade surplus narrowed 19.4% to RM1.9 billion, from RM2.4 billion registered a year ago, with a decrease of RM3.6 billion or 65.4%, compared with the previous month.

Imports in July declined 4.8% to RM57.9 billion, from RM60.9 billion in the previous year, mainly attributed to intermediate goods and consumption goods.

Imports of intermediate goods which contributed 55.4% of total imports dropped 11.8% to RM32.1 billion, whereby the imports of consumption goods which constituted 8.5% of total imports, decreased 6.8% to RM4.9 billion.

However, the ministry said imports of capital goods, which accounted for 19% of total imports, expanded 46.6% to RM11 billion, mainly due to the increase in capital goods (except transport equipment). “On a m-o-m basis seasonally adjusted terms, imports fell RM5.5 billion (9.2%) to RM54.9 billion,” it added. – Sundaily