Malaysia’s total trade fell 16.3% yoy in June to RM222.1 bil

KUALA LUMPUR (July 20): Malaysia’s total trade fell 16.3% to RM222.1 billion in June 2023, from RM265.4 billion last year.

In a statement on Thursday (July 20), the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said exports and imports also posted a decline of 14.1% and 18.9%, respectively.

However, it said Malaysia’s trade surplus increased to RM25.8 billion, year-on-year (yoy).

Malaysia’s Chief Statistician Datuk Sri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the decline in exports was driven by both domestic exports and re-exports.

He said domestic exports were worth RM93.8 billion, contributing 75.7% to total exports, which registered a decline of 15.2% in June 2023.

He said re-exports reached RM30.2 billion, which decreased by 10.3% compared to June 2022.

Imports were lower by 18.9%, from RM121.1 billion to RM98.2 billion.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s trade surplus in June 2023 widened to RM25.8 billion, compared to last year.

This is the 38th consecutive month of trade surplus since May 2020.

Compared to May 2023, exports and trade surpluses grew by 3.7% and 64.4%, while imports and total trade contracted by 5.4% and 0.5%, respectively.

In terms of commodity groups, 144 out of 257 groups showed a decrease compared to the same month last year and were led by refined petroleum products.

As for imports, 174 out of 259 groups recorded negative growth.

Mohd Uzir explained that the reduction in exports was mainly contributed by the United States (RM3.2 billion), followed by the European Union (RM2.7 billion), Bangladesh (RM1.9 billion), Japan (RM1.8 billion), India (RM1.7 billion), Thailand (RM1.6 billion), China (RM1.5 billion), Taiwan (RM1.1 billion) and Hong Kong (RM1.0 billion).

Meanwhile, he said the decrease in imports was mainly attributed to China (RM6.1 billion), Taiwan (RM2.7 billion), Republic of Korea (RM2.6 billion), United States (RM2.5 billion), Singapore (RM2.4 billion), Indonesia (RM1.9 billion), Australia (RM1.6 billion), European Union (RM1.6 billion) and India (RM1.1 billion).

Commenting further on exports, Mohd Uzir said the decline was driven by palm oil and palm oil-based agricultural products (RM5.3 billion); petroleum products (RM5.1 billion); liquefied natural gas (RM2.6 billion); crude oil (RM1.4 billion); palm oil products (RM1.4 billion) and chemical and chemical products (RM1.3 billion).

Meanwhile, the contraction in imports was recorded for electrical and electronic products (RM7.2 billion), petroleum products (RM7.1 billion), chemical and chemical products (RM2.2 billion), manufactures of metal (RM1.5 billion), transport equipment (RM1.4 billion), liquefied natural gas (RM1.1 billion); and iron and steel products (RM1.0 billion).

Mohd Uzir said the decline in imports by the “end use” segment was contributed by lower demand for intermediate goods, capital goods and consumption goods. Imports of intermediate goods (48.5% of total imports) reached RM47.6 billion, posting a double digit decline of 25.7%, or RM16.5 billion.

He said capital goods, valued at RM9.8 billion, shrank by 12.1% compared to June 2022 and comprised 9.9% of total imports.

“Consumer goods (8.3% of total imports) recorded an 11.8% decrease from RM9.2 billion last year, to RM8.2 billion,” he said.

In addition, Mohd Uzir said total trade for the second quarter (2Q) of 2023 decreased by 11.3% to RM643.2 billion, compared to 2Q2022.

He said exports decreased by 11.1% from RM392.3 billion last year to RM348.7 billion, and imports with a value of RM294.5 billion, decreased by 11.5%.

A trade surplus of RM54.1 billion was recorded for the period, which shrank by 8.8%.

In the first six months of 2023 (1H2023), total trade, exports, imports and trade surplus decreased.

Total trade decreased by 4.6%, supported by a decrease in exports (-4.5%), as well as imports (-4.7%).

As a result, the trade surplus recorded a higher value of RM118.5 billion.

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