KUCHING: Signs are optimistic for Malaysia’s trade as October’s exports surged, growing by 17.7 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) from 6.5 per cent y-o-y in September.
It is the third time during the year for exports to grow at a double-digit pace, bringing the year-to-date (YTD) average growth at 7.6 per cent.
Researchers with Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd (Kenanga Research) saw that on a monthly basis, trade exports rose sharply by 16.2 per cent.
“The steep rebound was mainly underpinned by an increase in exports to regional peers, particularly for electrical and electronic (E&E) goods,” it said in a report yesterday.
“Meanwhile, trade surplus widened to a record-breaking high of RM16.3 billion as the growth in exports outpaced that of imports.”
By product, Malaysia’s greater shipments of E&E and refined petroleum outweighed moderation in shipments of palm oil and palm-oil based products.
E&E export growth spiked to 23.3 per cent y-o-y, accounting for 8.9 percentage points (ppt) of overall export growth, on the back of large shipments of electronic integrated circuits.
Exports of petroleum products jumped 37.7 per cent y-o-y, extending gains from the previous month, against the backdrop of higher crude oil price.
On the other hand, exports of palm oil (including crude and processed) declined at a faster pace of 11.9 per cent. The trend is expected to remain unfavourable going forward, amid soft demand and high inventory levels of palm oil.
From a destination perspective, Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd (AffinHwang Capital) saw that exports to the US, China, Japan and Asean improved.
“Malaysia’s exports to Asean surged to double-digit growth of 16 per cent y-o-y in October from 5.8 per cent in September — its fastest pace since December 2017 — led by an increase in demand for E&E products, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products, manufactures of metal as well as machinery, equipment and parts.
“By Asean country, Malaysia’s exports to Vietnam rose sharply by 36.6 per cent y-o-y in October, followed by Thailand (20.8 per cent y-o-y), Singapore (18.3 per cent), the Philippines (9.8 per cent) and Indonesia (3.6 per cent).”
Internationally, export growth to the US continued to improve from 0.1 per cent y-o-y in September to 7.6 per cent in October, supported by exports of E&E products, rubber products, optical and scientific equipment and machinery, equipment and parts.
Export growth to China also rebounded from a decline of 0.6 per cent y-o-y in September to a threemonth high of 33 per cent in October, supported by demand for E&E products,petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Similarly, exports to Japan turned around to register an increase of 10.2 per cent y-o-y in October after four consecutive months of decline.