KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 (Xinhua) — Malaysia’s exports grew 8.8 percent year on year to 82.87 billion ringgit (about 19.5 billion U.S. dollars), showing signs of recovery from the COVID-19 impact, official data showed Tuesday.
Malaysian International Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement that total trade in June expanded by 2.2 percent year on year to 144.84 billion ringgit, driven by increases in trade with China, the United States and Vietnam.
“This better performance is in line with the gradual lifting of restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia and globally,” said the ministry.
Imports, however, decreased by 5.6 percent to 61.98 billion ringgit, resulting in a trade surplus of 20.89 billion ringgit in June.
Exports of manufactured goods, which made up 87.5 percent of total exports, picked up by 13.7 percent year on year to 72.48 billion ringgit, due mainly to higher demand of electrical and electronic (E&E) products.
Exports of agriculture goods rose by 30 percent to 6.27 billion ringgit, underpinned mainly by higher exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.
Exports of mining goods, however, dropped by 45.6 percent to 3.79 billion ringgit, weighed down by lower exports of crude petroleum and liquefied natural gas.
Malaysia’s exports to China continued to expand for three consecutive months, registering a 46.8 percent increase in June.
The increase was led by higher exports of iron and steel products, manufactures of metal, petroleum products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, other manufactures, optical and scientific equipment as well as E&E products.
Meanwhile, June’s imports from China was up by 3.4 percent.
Malaysia’s Socio-Economic Research Center executive director Lee Heng Guie said the better than expected June exports was lifted by the delivery of backlog orders during the government-imposed restrictive measures, especially for E&E as well as high crude palm oil prices.
“With exports contracted by 6.8 percent in the first half, the full year exports contraction could be smaller than expected,” he told Xinhua.
For the first half, Malaysia’s total trade contracted by 7 percent year on year to 833.36 billion ringgit, with exports declining by 6.8 percent to 448.99 billion ringgit.
Malaysia’s trade with China in the first half increased by 0.3 percent year on year, with exports to China growing by 8.3 percent. Enditem