KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — Malaysia’s trade continued its positive growth momentum in February 2021, recording a 15.4 per cent growth to RM157.27 billion compared to the same month last year, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) today.

In a statement, MITI said exports accelerated by 17.6 per cent to RM87.57 billion and imports rose by 12.7 per cent to RM69.7 billion, resulting in a trade surplus surging by 41.6 per cent to RM17.86 billion in February 2021.

The ministry said exports recorded the fastest growth since October 2018, supported by increase in global demand notably for electrical and electronic (E&E) products mainly semiconductor, rubber products as well as commodity-based products particularly petroleum products and palm oil.

Higher exports were from most major markets namely ASEAN, China, the US, the European Union (EU), Japan, and Hong Kong.

Compared to January 2021, trade surplus increased by 7.6 per cent.

However, total trade, exports and imports were lower by 3.3 per cent, 2.3 per cent and 4.5 per cent, respectively.

“For January-February 2021, exports recorded a double-digit growth of 11.7 per cent to RM177.19 billion compared with the same period of 2020, while imports rose by 6.6 per cent to RM142.73 billion.

“Total trade expanded by 9.4 per cent to RM319.92 billion and trade surplus surged by 39.8 per cent to RM34.47 billion,” it said.

It said exports of manufactured goods in February 2021, which contributed 86.6 per cent to total exports, recorded a growth of 20.1 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM75.83 billion, mainly due to higher exports of E&E products, rubber products and petroleum products.

The higher demand of semiconductors for smart devices, 5G network and automotive industry as the global economic activities continued to recover, contributed to the stronger performance.

The E&E products, valued at RM31.22 billion, constituted 35.7 per cent of total exports, an increase by 24.4 per cent from February 2020, rubber products (RM6.68 billion) which accounted for 7.6 per cent of total exports, surged by 188.7 per cent, while petroleum products (RM6.68 billion) which made up 7.6 per cent of total exports, increased by 32.1 per cent, it said.

Meanwhile, exports of agriculture goods (6.5 per cent share) rose by 9.7 per cent to RM5.69 billion compared to February last year, buoyed mainly by higher shipments of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.

Exports of mining goods (5.9 per cent share) saw y-o-y contraction of 7.8 per cent in February 2021 to RM5.19 billion compared to a decline of 31 per cent in January 2021.

The decline was due to lower exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude petroleum.

In February 2021, trade with ASEAN, which constituted RM40.95 billion or 26 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade, increased by 13.2 per cent compared to February 2020.

MITI said exports recorded a double-digit expansion of 13.7 per cent to RM24.42 billion, owing to higher exports of E&E products and petroleum products, while imports from ASEAN expanded by 12.4 per cent to RM16.52 billion.

Exports to major markets in ASEAN that recorded growth included Singapore, which increased by RM1.48 billion mainly attributed to higher exports of E&E products; Thailand, RM63.5 million – other manufactures products especially solid-state storage devices; Vietnam (RM790.2 million – E&E products); and Indonesia (RM359.4 million – petroleum products).

In addition, trade with China surged by 49.8 per cent y-o-y to RM28.76 billion, representing 18.3 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade in February 2021.

Malaysia’s exports to China recorded a double-digit growth of 35.8 per cent to RM12.82 billion amid higher exports of E&E products, petroleum products and LNG, while imports rose by 63.4 per cent to RM15.94 billion.  

The ministry said trade with the US accounted for 9.6 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade, registering a growth of 9.3 per cent y-o-y to RM15.06 billion in February 2021.

Exports to the US recorded a double-digit growth of 26 per cent to RM9.99 billion as a result of higher exports of rubber products, and in contrast, imports from the US contracted 13.3 per cent to RM5.07 billion.

It added that total trade with the EU in February 2021 rose by 11.8 per cent y-o-y to RM12.75 billion and accounted for 8.1 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade.

Exports continued its upward momentum since September 2020, expanding by 15.3 per cent to RM7.74 billion amid higher exports of rubber products, while imports from the EU rose by 6.7 per cent to RM5.01 billion.

Meanwhile, trade with Japan, which made up 7.3 per cent of Malaysia’s total trade, grew by 6.3 per cent y-o-y to RM11.41 billion in February 2021.

Exports picked up by 2.4 per cent to RM5.74 billion from a negative y-o-y growth in January 2021, contributed mainly by higher exports of rubber products, manufactures of metal and E&E products.

Imports from Japan grew by 10.6 per cent to RM5.68 billion.


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