Malaysia records higher trade surplus of RM10.41 billion in May

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – Malaysia’s trade surplus grew 14.7 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM10.41 billion last month, the highest monthly trade surplus recorded for May since May 2008.

It also marked the fourth time that the country achieved a trade surplus above RM10 billion this year, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said in a statement yesterday.

However, total trade during the month shrank 27.8 per cent to RM114.96 billion compared to a year earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lower trade was recorded particularly with Singapore, Thailand, India, China, Japan and Indonesia.

“Exports totalled RM62.69 billion, a contraction of 25.5 per cent, while imports decreased 30.4 per cent to RM52.27 billion.

“Compared to April 2020, trade, exports and imports slipped 13.7 per cent, 3.2 per cent and 23.6 per cent,” the senior minister said in a statement yesterday.

For the first five months of the year, Malaysia’s trade fell 8.7 per cent y-o-y to RM688.57 billion.

Lower trade was recorded with Thailand, Singapore, India, China and Hong Kong, while higher trade was registered with South Korea and Indonesia. Exports during the period shrank 9.7 per cent to RM366.16 billion while imports contracted 7.5 per cent to RM322.41 billion.

Trade surplus was valued at RM43.75 billion, 23 per cent lower against the same period of 2019.

Mohamed Azmin said exports of rubber products, especially rubber gloves, registered a double-digit growth for two consecutive months, increasing 20.5 per cent or RM461 million in May, underpinned by the growing demand for rubber gloves which benefitted from the pandemic.

This was despite the decline in exports of manufactured goods by 23.5 per cent y-o-y to RM54.21 billion.

“The contraction of manufactured goods which constituted 86.5 per cent of total exports was due to lower exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products, petroleum products, manufactures of metal, chemicals and chemical products as well as machinery, equipment and parts,” he said.

Exports of agriculture goods (7.9 per cent share) decreased 21.3 per cent to RM4.94 billion due to lower exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products compared with May 2019.

Exports of mining goods (5.1 per cent share) dropped 49.1 per cent y-o-y to RM3.22 billion, mainly due to lower exports of crude petroleum and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Meanwhile, trade with ASEAN in May contracted by 35.6 per cent y-o-y to RM28.11 billion, accounting for 24.5 per cent share of Malaysia’s total trade.