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Malaysia’s exports rebounded in June 2020, growing by 8.8% to RM82.87 billion compared to June 2019 while total trade expanded by 2.2% to RM144.84 billion. Increases in trade were recorded primarily with China, the United States (US), Hong Kong SAR and Viet Nam.

Imports decreased by 5.6% to RM61.98 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM20.89 billion in June 2020, a growth of 98.7% year-on-year (y-o-y) and the highest monthly trade surplus ever recorded.

On a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, total trade, exports and imports recorded double digit growth of 26%, 32.3% and 18.6%, respectively, while trade surplus surged by 101.1%. This better performance is in line with the gradual lifting of restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia and globally.

Embargo until 1200 hours, Tuesday, 28th July 2020

Total trade for the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 was valued at RM392.96 billion, declined by 14.7% compared to Q2 2019. Exports totalled RM210.3 billion, a decrease of 14.3% while imports amounted to RM182.66 billion, contracting by 15.1%. A trade surplus of RM27.64 billion was recorded for the period, dropped by 9.1%. Compared to the first quarter (Q1) 2020, total trade, exports and imports declined by 10.8%, 11.9% and 9.4%, respectively. Trade surplus shrank by 25.2%.

For the first half (H1) of 2020, total trade amounted to RM833.36 billion, contracted by 7% compared to the same period of 2019. Lower trade was recorded with Thailand, Singapore, India, Japan and Germany. Meanwhile, higher trade was registered with the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the US. Exports during the period totalled RM448.99 billion, a decline of 6.8% and imports was valued at RM384.38 billion, decreasing by 7.2%. A trade surplus of RM64.61 billion was recorded for the period, slipped by 4.1%.

Export Performance of Major Sectors

Exports of Manufactured and Agriculture Goods Recovered with Double Digit Growth in June 2020

Exports of manufactured goods in June 2020 which made up 87.5% of total exports picked up by 13.7% y-o-y to RM72.48 billion. The expansion was due mainly to higher demand of electrical and electronic (E&E) products, rubber products, other manufactures especially solid-state storage devices (SSD), optical and scientific equipment, machinery, equipment and parts, wood products, iron and steel products as well as manufactures of metal.

Exports of agriculture goods (7.6% share) rose by 30% compared to June 2019 to RM6.27 billion underpinned mainly by higher exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.

Exports of mining goods (4.6% share) dropped by 45.6% y-o-y to RM3.79 billion weighed down by lower exports of crude petroleum and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Embargo until 1200 hours, Tuesday, 28th July 2020

  • E&E products, valued at RM32.55 billion and constituted 39.3% of total exports, increased by 15.9% from June 2019;
  • Palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, RM4.68 billion, 5.7% of total exports, increased by 45.4%;
  • Petroleum products, RM4.5 billion, 5.4% of total exports, decreased by 26%;
  • Chemicals and chemical products, RM4.3 billion, 5.2% of total exports, decreasedby 5.9%; and

Machinery, equipment and parts RM4.19 billion, 5.1% of total exports, increasedby 29.4%. Compared to May 2020, exports of manufactured, agriculture and mining goods registered double digit growth of 33.7%, 27% and 17.7%, respectively.In H1 2020, exports of manufactured goods decreased by 5% to RM383.84 billion compared to H1 2019, following lower exports of E&E products, manufactures of metal, chemicals and chemical products, petroleum products, jewellery, machinery, equipment and parts as well as textiles, apparels and footwear. However, better export performance were seen in exports of other manufactures (SSD), rubber products, iron and steel products as well as transport equipment. Exports of agriculture goods contracted by 1.4% to RM31.69 billion mainly on lower exports of sawn timber and moulding while exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products registered increase. Exports of mining goods dropped by 25.5% to RM31.23 billion as a result of lower exports of crude petroleum and LNG.

Exports to ASEAN Picked Up 1.3% in June 2020

Trade with ASEAN in June 2020 which constituted 24.6% of Malaysia’s total trade contracted by 5.1% y-o-y to RM35.65 billion. Exports picked up by 1.3% to RM22.04 billion, on the back of higher exports of E&E products, machinery, equipment and

  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Viet Nam
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines
  • Myanmar
  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Lao PDR

RM10.95 billion, increased by 3.7% RM3.76 billion, ↓10.2% RM2.75 billion, ↑21.7%
RM2.16 billion, ↓4.1% RM1.72 billion, ↓2.7% RM295.7 million, ↑17.5% RM259.2 million, ↑54% RM123.5 million, ↓59.1% RM3.2 million, ↑37.6%

Embargo until 1200 hours, Tuesday, 28th July 2020

parts, optical and scientific equipment, LNG and processed food. Imports from ASEAN decreased by 13.8% to RM13.61 billion.

Breakdown of exports to ASEAN countries:

Exports to markets in ASEAN that recorded expansion included Singapore, which increased by RM395.9 million due to higher exports of E&E products, Viet Nam (↑RM490.7 million, petroleum products) and Myanmar (↑RM44.1 million, petroleum products).

On a m-o-m basis, trade, exports and imports increased by 26.9%, 28.3% and 24.6% respectively.

In H1 2020, trade with ASEAN was valued at RM209.32 billion, a contraction of 12.5% compared to the same period of 2019. Exports to this region shrank by 8% to RM128.22 billion due to lower exports of E&E products, crude petroleum as well as manufactures of metal. Increases in exports however were recorded for transport equipment as well as iron and steel products. Imports was down by 18.9% to RM81.1 billion.

Exports to China Surged by 46.8% in June 2020

In June 2020, trade with China rebounded by 22% y-o-y to RM28.68 billion, making up 19.8% of Malaysia’s total trade. Exports to China continued to expand for 3 consecutive months, registering a 46.8% increase to RM14.78 billion, led by higher exports of iron and steel products, manufactures of metal, petroleum products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, other manufactures (SSD), optical and scientific equipment as well as E&E products. Imports from China was up by 3.4% to RM13.9 billion.

Compared to May 2020, trade, exports and imports surged by 20.8%, 25.5% and 16.2%, respectively.

Trade with China in H1 2020 increased by 0.3% to RM149.16 billion compared to the same period of 2019. Exports to China grew by 8.3% to RM69.43 billion supported by higher exports of iron and steel products, other manufactures (SSD), manufactures of metal, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products as well as optical and scientific equipment. Imports from China declined by 5.8% to RM79.73 billion.

Exports to the EU Improved by 3.3% in June 2020

Total trade with the European Union (EU) which comprised 8.3% of Malaysia’s total trade in June 2020, contracted by 6.5% y-o-y to RM11.99 billion. Exports increased by 3.3% to RM7.23 billion, a rebound from negative growth of 25.4% recorded in May 2020, underpinned by higher exports of rubber products, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products as well as other manufactures (SSD). Imports from the EU decreased by 18.2% to RM4.76 billion.

Among the top 10 EU markets which accounted for 91.1% of Malaysia’s total exports to the EU, exports to 8 countries recorded increases namely, Germany (↑14.4%), the Czech Republic (↑104.7%), Poland (↑82.4%), Slovenia (↑97.6%), Ireland (↑91.1%), France (↑19.5%), Italy (↑7.2%) and Spain (↑2.6%).

On a m-o-m basis, trade, exports and imports grew by 19.8%, 28.7% and 8.5%, respectively.

For the first 6 months of 2020, trade with the EU totalled RM67.3 billion, edged down by 17.5% compared to the same period of 2019. Exports was valued at RM38.27 billion, a contraction of 14.6% mainly on account of lower exports of E&E products. Meanwhile, increases in exports were recorded for rubber products, palm oil and palm oil-based products as well as chemicals and chemical products. Imports from the EU totalled RM29.02 billion, lower by 21%.

Manufactured Goods Spearheaded Exports to the US in June 2020

Trade with the US in June 2020 increased by 20.5% y-o-y to RM15.42 billion, accounting for 10.6% of Malaysia’s total trade. Exports recovered with a growth of 27.6% to RM9.76 billion. Manufactured goods dominated exports to the US with 97.7% share, increasing by 28.2% to RM9.53 billion in June 2020. Higher exports of manufactured goods were seen for other manufactures (SSD), wood products, rubber products, E&E products, optical and scientific equipment as well as machinery, equipment and parts. Imports from the US expanded by 9.9% to RM5.66 billion.

Compared to May 2020, trade, exports and imports rose by 25.8%, 37.6% and 9.7%, respectively.

During H1 2020, trade with the US grew by 3.1% to RM80.41 billion compared to the same period of 2019. Exports grew by 2.4% to RM46.15 billion boosted by higher exports of other manufactures (SSD), wood products, rubber products, non-metallic mineral products, manufactures of metal, machinery, equipment and parts as well as processed food. Imports from the US rose by 4.1% to RM34.26 billion.

Exports to Japan Rebounded by 9.8% in June 2020

In June 2020, trade with Japan which made up 6.7% of Malaysia’s total trade improved by 1.4% y-o-y to RM9.74 billion. Exports accelerated by 9.8% to RM4.95 billion from a contraction of 33.1% in May 2020. This was buoyed by the increase in exports of E&E products, LNG, manufactures of metal, rubber products, optical and scientific equipment as well as metalliferous ores and metal scrap. Imports from Japan was valued at RM4.79 billion, declined by 6.1%. On a m-o-m basis, trade, exports and imports improved by 22.2%, 23.5% and 20.9%, respectively.

For the period of January to June 2020, trade with Japan declined by 6.9% to RM59.63 billion compared to the same period of 2019. Exports fell by 8.9% to RM30.88 billion on lower exports of LNG, E&E products, manufactures of metal as well as wood products. Higher exports however were registered for crude petroleum, rubber products, optical and scientific equipment, metalliferous ores and metal scrap as well as palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products. Imports from Japan contracted by 4.7% to RM28.75 billion.

Trade with FTA Partners

In June 2020, trade with Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners which accounted for 66.2% of Malaysia’s total trade increased by 2.9% to RM95.83 billion. Exports to FTA partners amounted to RM55.87 billion, surged 10.1% y-o-y and imports declined by 5.6% to RM39.96 billion.

Increases in exports were recorded to Hong Kong SAR, up by 31% to RM6.03 billion, attributed mainly to higher exports of E&E products, Pakistan (↑73.2% to RM464.6 million, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products), Turkey (↑1.7% to RM629.4 million, rubber products) and Chile (↑16.3% to RM56 million, rubber products).

Compared to May 2020, trade, exports and imports were up by 25.6%, 30.7% and 19.2%, respectively.

Trade with FTA partners for H1 2020 which accounted for 66.9% of Malaysia’s total trade reduced by 6.3% to RM557.18 billion. Exports during this period amounted to RM308.01 billion, a decline of 6.2% while imports totalled RM249.17 billion, lower by 6.3%.

Import Performance

Total imports in June 2020 contracted by 5.6% y-o-y to RM61.98 billion from RM65.63 billion in June 2019. The three main categories of imports by end use which accounted for 76.6% of total imports were:

Intermediate goods, valued at RM34.09 billion or 55% share of total imports, decreased by 10.8%, following lower imports of processed industrial supplies, particularly copper and articles;

Capital goods, valued at RM7.33 billion or 11.8% of total imports, increased by 2.8%, due mainly to higher imports of capital good (except transport equipment), particularly electrical machinery, equipment and parts; and

Consumption goods, valued at RM6.08 billion or 9.8% of total imports, rose by 9%, as a result of higher imports of household consumption of food and beverages, particularly cereals.

In H1 2020, imports amounted to RM384.38 billion, decreased by 7.2% from the same period of 2019. Imports of intermediate goods totalled RM209.22 billion, decreased by 8.6%, capital goods (RM46.41 billion, ↓5.5%) and consumption goods (RM34.86 billion, ↓2.6%).