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Malaysia External Trade Statistics

TRADE PERFORMANCE FOR FEBRUARY 2022 AND THE PERIOD OF JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2022

Highest Trade, Exports, Imports and Trade Surplus for February

Malaysia’s trade continued its upward trajectory in February 2022, chalking up double-digit growth for trade, exports, imports and trade surplus. This was the highest monthly value for the month of February. Trade rose by 17.5% to RM184.75 billion compared to February 2021, the 13th consecutive month of double-digit growth. Exports surpassed RM100 billion mark for the first time for the month of February, increased by 16.8% to RM102.27 billion. This was also the seventh consecutive month of double-digit growth.

Imports expanded by 18.4% to RM82.48 billion and trade surplus grew by 10.7% to RM19.79 billion.

The export growth was boosted by higher shipments of electrical and electronic (E&E) products driven by global digitalisation trends as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products which was supported by higher prices of crude palm oil. Exports to major markets notably ASEAN, China, the European Union (EU) and Japan recorded double-digit growth.

On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, trade, exports and imports slipped by 9.2%, 7.9% and 10.8%, respectively due to shorter working days and festive season. Meanwhile, trade surplus increased by 6.6%.

For the first two months of 2022, trade, exports and imports registered the fastest growth since 2010 and the highest value for the period. Trade leaped by 21.4% to RM388.33 billion from the same period last year. Exports grew by 20.4% to RM213.34 billion and imports climbed by 22.6% to RM174.99 billion. Trade surplus increased by 11.2% to RM38.35 billion.

Exports of manufactured goods in February 2022 which accounted for 85.2% of total exports expanded by 14.2% y-o-y to RM87.16 billion attributed to higher exports of E&E products, chemicals and chemical products, manufactures of metal as well as palm oil-based manufactured products, each recorded more than RM1 billion increase in exports.

Exports of agriculture goods (7.7% share) climbed by 38.7% to RM7.9 billion compared to February 2021, the 12th consecutive month of double-digit growth. The expansion was boosted by strong exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.

Exports of mining goods (6.6% share) rose by 30.7% y-o-y to RM6.79 billion, the 11th successive month of double-digit growth. The expansion was underpinned by growing exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Major exports in February 2022:

  • E&E products, valued at RM39.65 billion and accounted for 38.8% of total exports, increased by 25.8% from February 2021;
  • Petroleum products, RM7.32 billion, 7.2% of total exports, increased by 9.6%;
  • Chemicals and chemical products, RM6.64 billion, 6.5% of total exports, increased by 28.2%;
  • Palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, RM6.26 billion, 6.1% of total exports, surged by 58.9%; and
  • Manufactures of metal, RM4.95 billion, 4.8% of total exports, increased by 31.8%

Compared to January 2022, exports of manufactured, agriculture and mining goods contracted by 8.3%, 9.6% and 0.4%, respectively.

For the period of January to February 2022, exports of manufactured goods edged up by 17% to RM182.2 billion compared to the same period of 2021, contributed by strong exports of E&E products, manufactures of metal, chemicals and chemical products, petroleum products, palm oil-based manufactured products, machinery, equipment and parts as well as iron and steel products. Exports of agriculture goods surged by 55.7% to RM16.64 billion attributed to higher exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Exports of mining goods increased by 34.3% to RM13.6 billion owing to strong exports of LNG.

In February 2022, trade with ASEAN absorbed 27.6% of Malaysia’s total trade, growing by 24.6% y-o-y to RM51.03 billion. Exports increased by 20.1% to RM29.34 billion supported by higher exports of E&E products, petroleum products as well as crude petroleum. Imports from ASEAN rose by 31.3% to RM21.69 billion.

Breakdown of exports to ASEAN countries:
• Singapore RM14.47 billion, increased by 14.4%;
• Thailand RM4.75 billion, ↑34.7%;
• Viet Nam RM4.52 billion, ↑43.3%;
• Indonesia RM3.40 billion, ↑25.8%;
• Philippines RM1.57 billion, ↑1.3%;
• Myanmar RM298.9 million, ↓35.0%;
• Brunei RM175.1 million, ↓35.5%;
• Cambodia RM151.8 million, ↑38.7%; and
• Lao PDR RM5.6 million, ↑84.3%.

Exports to major markets in ASEAN that recorded increases were Singapore which grew by RM1.83 billion, due to higher exports of E&E products, Thailand (↑RM1.22 billion, crude petroleum), Viet Nam (↑RM1.37 billion, E&E products), Indonesia (↑RM697.8 million, petroleum products) and the Philippines (↑RM19.5 million, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products).

Compared to January 2022, imports increased by 0.6% while trade and exports fell by 2.5% and 4.7%, respectively.

In the first two months of 2022, trade with ASEAN was up by 23.1% to RM103.39 billion compared to the same period of 2021. Exports to this region increased by 19.9% to RM60.14 billion owing to strong exports of E&E products and petroleum products. Imports from ASEAN grew by 27.9% to RM43.25 billion.

China – Trade Continued to be Resilient

In February 2022, trade with China which represented 17.4% of Malaysia’s total trade expanded by 11.9% y-o-y to RM32.18 billion. Exports to China registered a growth of 19.2% to RM15.28 billion following higher exports of E&E products as well as chemicals and chemical products. Imports from China rose by 6% to RM16.9 billion.

Compared to January 2022, trade, exports and imports declined by 19.9%, 10.1% and 27%, respectively.

Trade with China during the first two months of 2022 jumped by 23.3% to RM72.35 billion compared to the same period of 2021. Exports edged up by 24.5% to RM32.28 billion assisted by higher exports of E&E products, LNG as well as chemicals and chemical products. Imports from China increased by 22.4% to RM40.07 billion.

The US – Export Expansion was Powered by E&E Products

Trade with the United States (US) in February 2022 which comprised 9.3% of Malaysia’s total trade grew by 14.5% y-o-y to RM17.23 billion. Exports rose by 4.1% to RM10.4 billion following strong exports of E&E products. Imports from the US expanded by 35.1% to RM6.84 billion.

On a m-o-m basis, imports climbed by 7.3% while trade and exports decreased by 6.8% and 14.3%, respectively.

For the period of January to February 2022, trade with the US was up by 15.3% to RM35.73 billion compared to the same period of 2021. Exports grew by 10.9% to RM22.52 billion backed by higher exports of E&E products. Imports from the US increased by 23.6% to RM13.21 billion.

The EU – Exports Registered Five Consecutive Months of Double-Digit Growth

Trade with the EU which constituted of 8.1% of Malaysia’s total trade in February 2022 grew by 17.8% y-o-y to RM15.03 billion. Exports rose by 18.5% to RM9.17 billion, the fifth consecutive month of double-digit growth driven by higher exports of E&E products as well as palm oil and palm oil-based products. Imports from the EU edged up by 16.9% to RM5.86 billion.

  • Breakdown of exports to the top 10 EU markets which accounted for 92.5% of Malaysia’s total exports to the EU were:
    Netherlands RM2.92 billion, increased by 45.8%;
  • Germany RM2.60 billion, ↑13.0%;
  • Italy RM744.1 million, ↑38.4%;
  • Spain RM518.2 million, ↑42.9%;
  • Belgium RM478.1 million, ↓0.9%;
  • France RM385.3 million, ↑15.7%;
  • Poland RM258.0 million, ↓8.4%;
  • Czech Republic RM243.2 million, ↑11.5%;
  • Sweden RM168.0 million, ↓1.4%; and
  • Hungary RM167.1 million, ↑8.7%.

Exports to the EU major markets that grew were the Netherlands which increased by RM915.2 million backed by higher demand for E&E products, Germany (↑RM298.6 million, chemicals and chemical products) and Italy (↑RM206.4 million, manufactures of metal).

On a month-on-month basis, trade, exports and imports edged down by 9%, 0.6% and 19.7%, respectively.

During the first two months of 2022, trade with the EU increased by 21.5% to RM31.55 billion compared to the same period of 2021. Exports rose by 16.7% to RM18.39 billion, due to higher exports of E&E products as well as palm oil and palm oil based products.

In February 2022, trade with Japan which contributed 6.9% to Malaysia’s total trade expanded by 11.2% y-o-y to RM12.7 billion. Exports grew by 15.9% to RM6.65 billion, the 12th straight month of double-digit expansion. This was bolstered by exports of broad-based products namely LNG, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, iron and steel products as well as E&E products. Imports from Japan was up by 6.6% to RM6.05 billion.

Compared to January 2022, imports rose by 5.8% while trade and exports were down by 2% and 8.1%, respectively.

For the period of January to February 2022, trade with Japan climbed by 11.2% to RM25.65 billion compared to the same period of 2021. Exports rose by 13.6% to RM13.88 billion buoyed by strong exports of LNG, manufactures of metal as well as iron and steel products. Imports from Japan increased by 8.5% to RM11.77 billion.

Trade with FTA Partners

In February 2022, trade with Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners which took up 67.4% of Malaysia’s total trade increased by 18.1% y-o-y to RM124.58 billion. Exports to FTA partners rose by 18.7% to RM69.28 billion and imports grew by 17.4% to RM55.3 billion.

Increases in exports were recorded to Hong Kong SAR, by 5.5% to RM5.65 billion and Australia (↑9.2% to RM2.72 billion) on account of robust exports of E&E products. Higher exports were also registered to India, by 22.9% to RM3.72 billion and Pakistan (↑23.7% to RM449.3 million) led by strong exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Meanwhile, exports to the Republic of Korea, expanded by 24.1% to RM3.81 billion due to growing exports of LNG, Turkey (↑64.2% to RM1.24 billion, manufactures of metal), Chile (↑33.4% to RM82.6 million, iron and steel products) and New Zealand (↑22.9% to RM328.3 million, chemicals and chemical products).

Compared to January 2022, trade, exports and imports reduced by 9.7%, 8.2% and 11.4%, respectively.

Trade with FTA partners during the first two months of 2022 which made up 67.6% of Malaysia’s total trade, grew by 22.1% to RM262.49 billion compared to the same period of 2021. Exports increased by 21.6% to RM144.76 billion and imports rose by 22.7% to RM117.73 billion.

Total imports in February 2022 expanded by 18.4% y-o-y to RM82.48 billion. The three main categories of imports by end use which accounted for 74.7% of total imports were:

• Intermediate goods, valued at RM46.72 billion or 56.6% of total imports, increased by 21.8%, following higher imports of parts and accessories of capital goods (except transport equipment) particularly electrical machinery, equipment
and parts;

• Capital goods, valued at RM7.92 billion or 9.6% of total imports, grew by 4.4%, due to strong imports of capital goods (except transport equipment), primarily parts for machinery and mechanical appliances; and

• Consumption goods, valued at RM6.98 billion or 8.5% of total imports, rose by 18.3%, as a result of higher imports of processed food and beverages mainly for household consumption especially food preparations.

During the period of January to February 2022, imports grew by 22.6% to RM174.99 billion from the same period of 2021. Imports of intermediate goods grew by 25.1% to RM97.26 billion, capital goods (↑19.9% to RM17.79 billion) and consumption goods (↑25.7% to RM15.64 billion).