KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 19): Malaysia’s export and import figures continued to tumble in August 2023, posting a double-digit decline.
Exports were lower by 18.6% to RM115.16 billion and imports edged down by 21.2% to RM97.85 billion, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) said in a statement on Tuesday.
Subsequently, total trade dipped in August, falling 19.8% to RM213.01 billion amid slower global demand and lower commodity prices, compared with RM252.65 billion recorded in July.
However, Malaysia registered its 40th consecutive month of trade surplus in August, registering a year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 0.1% to RM17.31 billion.
For the period of January to August 2023, trade reduced by 8.1% to RM1.718 trillion compared to the same period of last year.
Exports shrank by 7.6% to RM935.22 billion, imports slipped by 8.6% to RM782.29 billion, and the trade surplus fell by 2% to RM152.92 billion.
Exports of manufactured goods contributed to fall
In August, exports of manufactured goods, which accounted for 85.4% or RM98.36 billion of total exports, dropped by 17.7% y-o-y following reduced demand for electrical and electronic (E&E) products, petroleum products as well as palm oil-based manufactured products.
Meanwhile, export growth was registered for paper and pulp products as well as processed food.
Exports of mining goods (7.3% share) was lower by 23.1% y-o-y to RM8.46 billion due to reduced exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude petroleum.
Exports of agriculture goods (6.6% share) decreased by 27.1% to RM7.61 billion compared to August 2022, owing to slower exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products that were affected significantly by weaker export prices of palm oil.
E&E products, valued at RM43.38 billion and accounted for 37.7% of total exports, decreased by 15.3% compared to August 2022.
Petroleum product exports were down 38.6% to RM12.44 billion, chemicals and chemical products exports were down 10% to RM5.99 billion, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products were down 31.9% to RM5.56 billion, and machinery, equipment and parts were down 9.9% to RM5.06 billion.
For the period of January to August 2023, exports of manufactured goods contracted by 5.9% to RM800.62 billion compared to the same period of 2022.
Total trade with China lower in August
Exports to China fell by 20.3% to RM14.72 billion on lower exports of E&E products and LNG. Nonetheless, export growth was posted for paper and pulp products as well as petroleum products.
Imports from China shrank by 17.5% to RM20.94 billion. Compared to July 2023, imports expanded by 2.8%, while trade was down by 4.1% and exports were 12.4% lower.
Trade with China during the first eight months of 2023 slipped by 8.7% to RM288.51 billion compared to the same period of 2022.
Exports fell by 8.6% to RM123.6 billion on account of decreased exports of iron and steel products, E&E products as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.
Despite the contraction, higher exports were posted for paper and pulp products as well as metalliferous ores and metal scrap. Imports from China dropped by 8.7% to RM164.9 billion.