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April exports surge 14% y/y, beating forecast

Export growth was more than double the 6.3% rise forecast by a Reuters poll, and significantly higher than the 2.2% annual growth in March.

Exports in April totalled RM84.2 billion, the second highest monthly export value recorded after last month’s record of RM84.5 billion. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s April exports rose 14% from a year earlier, buoyed by strong demand for the country’s manufactured goods, government data showed today.

Export growth was more than double the 6.3% rise forecast by a Reuters poll, and significantly higher than the 2.2% annual growth in March.

Malaysia’s exports in April totalled RM84.2 billion, the second highest monthly export value recorded after last month’s record of RM84.5 billion, the international trade and industry ministry said in a statement.

Driving export growth was a surge in demand for manufactured goods, especially electrical and electronic products. Shipments of manufactured goods accounted for about 84% of total exports, its highest share since September 2017.

April imports rose 9.1% annually, nearly triple the forecast of 3.1% and a strong reversal from the 9.6% decline in March.

Imports of intermediate goods, which account for 47.5% of total imports, fell 11.9% from a year earlier. Imports of capital goods grew 4.8% and intake of consumption goods went up 7.8%.

Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit.

April’s trade surplus widened to RM13.1 billion (US$3.30 billion), a slight dip from RM14.7 billion a month earlier.

Annual exports to China rebounded 22% in April, after declining 4.7% year-on-year in March.

Shipments to the US expanded 1.7% from a year earlier on higher exports of transport equipment, petroleum products as well as optical and scientific equipment.

For the first four months of 2018, exports grew 7.8%, while imports rose 1.6%, compared with the corresponding period last year.

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