Malaysia's exports in July 2020 increased 3.1% to RM92.53 billion from that in July 2019, the highest export value ever recorded for the month of July, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).
Last month also saw the second highest export value ever registered after the RM97.12 billion posted for October 2018, it said, adding that imports in July 2020 declined 8.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM67.38 billion.
"Trade surplus expanded 57.5% to RM25.15 billion from RM15.97 billion in July 2019, and was the highest monthly trade surplus ever recorded," it said in a statement today.
However, MITI said total trade in July 2020 decreased 2.2% y-o-y to RM159.92 billion as lower trade was recorded with Australia, Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, and Japan.
"Meanwhile, higher trade was registered with the United States, India, Bahrain, China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong," it said.
On a month-on-month basis, total trade, exports, and imports in July 2020 grew 10.4%, 11.7%, and 8.7%, respectively, while trade surplus rose 20.6%, it added.
For the first seven months of 2020, MITI said total cumulative trade was valued at RM993.22 billion, contracting 6.8% compared with the same period in 2019.
"Lower trade was recorded mainly with Thailand, Singapore, India, and Japan, while higher trade was registered with South Korea, the US, and Bahrain," it said.
MITI said exports during the period amounted to RM541.47 billion, declining 6.2% while imports totalled RM451.75 billion, contracting 7.4%, with trade surplus raising 0.8% to RM89.72 billion.
It said exports of manufactured goods in July 2020, which accounted for 87.5% of total exports, rose 4.7% y-o-y to RM80.94 billion.
"This was contributed by higher exports of electrical and electronics (E&E) products, rubber products, other manufactures, especially solid-state storage devices (SSD), optical and scientific equipment, wood products, as well as iron and steel products," it said.
Exports of agriculture goods (accounting for 7.1% of total exports) surged 30.4% y-o-y to RM6.57 billion, boosted mainly by exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, it said.
On trade with ASEAN countries in July 2020, which contributed RM40.95 billion or 25.6%, to Malaysia's total trade, MITI said it shrank 5.1% compared with July 2019.
"Exports ticked up 0.1% to RM25.58 billion, buoyed mainly by higher exports of E&E products, while imports from ASEAN decreased 12.6% to RM15.36 billion," it added.
MITI said in July 2020, trade with China climbed 1.9% y-o-y to RM29.44 billion, representing 18.4% of Malaysia's total trade.
"Exports to the republic continued to expand for four consecutive months, recording a 13.9% growth to RM15.58 billion.
"This was driven by higher exports of iron and steel products, other manufactures (SSD), palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, as well as manufactures of metal," it said, adding that imports from China, however, were down 8.9% to RM13.86 billion.
On trade with the US, MITI said in July 2020, it jumped 21.7% y-o-y to RM17.47 billion, accounting for 10.9% of Malaysia's total trade.
"Exports surged by 28.6% to RM11.16 billion, supported mainly by higher exports of manufactured goods, including E&E products, rubber products, wood products, petroleum products as well as machinery, equipment and parts," it said, adding that imports from the US grew 11% to RM6.31 billion.
On trade with the European Union (EU), which constituted 7.8% of Malaysia's total trade in July 2020, MITI said it declined 7.3% y-o-y to RM12.48 billion.
"Exports grew by 3.4% to RM7.71 billion due to higher shipment of rubber products, as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, while imports from the EU declined by 20.5% to RM4.77 billion," it said.
On trade with Japan, which made up 6.2% of Malaysia's total trade in July 2020, MITI said it shrank 7.3% y-o-y to RM9.89 billion.
"Exports eased 2.8% to RM5.2 billion, mainly on lower exports of LNG (liquefied natural gas).
"But the contraction was cushioned by higher exports of manufactured and agriculture goods to Japan which improved 3.5% and 10.7%, respectively," it said.
It added that growth in exports to Japan was supported by E&E products, rubber products, optical and scientific equipment, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, as well as petroleum products, while imports from Japan fell 11.8% to RM4.7 billion.
On trade with free-trade-agreement (FTA) partners, which accounted for 65.7% of Malaysia's total trade in July 2020, MITI said it trimmed 3.9% to RM105.05 billion.
"Exports to FTA partners amounted to RM62.72 billion, advancing 1.9% y-o-y while imports dwindled 11.4% to RM42.32 billion," it said.