Thursday, November 04, 2010

Malaysia Exports Slows Sharply In Sep

Update of our external trade numbers:

2 consecutive months of decline! A worry?

Report: posted on MITI.

Business times: Malaysia export growth slows sharply in Sept

  • Malaysia export growth slows sharply in Sept

    By Rupa Damodaran Published: 2010/11/04

    MALAYSIAN exports slowed sharply in September to single-digit growth after enjoying eight months of double-digit expansion.

    The International Trade and Industry Ministry said yesterday that exports grew by 6.9 per cent compared with September last year, while imports grew by 14.6 per cent, recording a trade surplus of RM7.01 billion.

    Compared with August, exports slipped by 4.5 per cent while imports slowed by 2.4 per cent.

    Miti attributed September’s exports to higher sales of liquefied natural gas (LNG), crude petroleum, palm oil, crude rubber, chemicals and chemical products, optical and scientific equipment as well as rubber products.

    Standard Chartered Bank economist Alvin Liew expressed concern with the magnitude of easing in September.

    It reinforced the view that the pace of Malaysia’s GDP growth was moderating in the second half of this year.

    “More importantly, exports to key export markets like the US and China contracted by 4.4 per cent year-on-year and 3.8 per cent year-on-year respectively, raising concerns that key markets are seeing demand turning more sluggish as global economic activity and consumer sentiment weakens,” he said.

    However, with China’s latest PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) reading that turned out to be stronger than expected, the appetite for Malaysian exports could improve in the coming months.

    According to Miti, lower exports to China was mainly due to lower exports of crude petroleum, palm oil and electrical and electronic products.

    Exports to the European Union (EU), however, expanded by 2.5 per cent to RM5.46 billion compared with the corresponding month in 2009, on stronger demand for palm oil, crude rubber as well as chemicals and chemical products.

    Exports to Japan rose 30 per cent, due mainly to higher exports of LNG, E&E products and crude petroleum.

    Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin, chief economist with Bank Islam, said the worse-than-expected slowdown in export growth in September could be a harbinger of further softening in overseas demand for made-in-Malaysia goods in the next few quarters as the global recovery cools.

    “A strengthening ringgit will not work in our favour neither although on a net basis, given the simultaneous appreciation of other Asian currencies, Malaysian exporters should not lose out that much vis-à-vis their regional competitors,” he said.

Here's the 'shocking' version from Star Business: Trade surplus hits RM7b in September

  • PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s total exports increased 6.9% to RM50.47bil in September from a year earlier, while imports grew 14.6% to RM43.47bil during the same period.

    Total trade rose 10.4% to RM93.94bil.

    A trade surplus of RM7.01bil was recorded in September, making it the 155th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) said in a statement yesterday.

    The increase in exports in September was largely due to higher exports of liquefied natural gas, crude petroleum, palm oil, crude rubber, chemicals and chemical products, optical and scientific equipment as well as rubber products.

    Higher imports were mainly due to higher imports of intermediate and capital goods. Compared with August, exports in September declined 4.5% and imports contracted by 2.4%, while total trade decreased by 3.5%, it said.

    Exports to Asean were valued at RM12.4bil, accounting for 24.6% of Malaysia’s total exports in September.

    Higher exports of crude petroleum, refined petroleum products and palm oil resulted in an increase of 5.4% in total exports to this region.

    Month-on-month, exports to this region decreased 4.5%. Total imports from Asean amounted to RM12.5bil, or 28.7%, of Malaysia’s total imports in September.

    For the nine-month period ended September, total trade increased 23% to RM864.48bil with exports expanding 20.4% to RM474.59bil while imports rose 26.4% to RM389.89bil, resulting in trade surplus of RM84.7bil.

    Total exports to Asean increased by 19.1% to RM120.36bil, or 25.4%, of Malaysia’s total exports from January to September.

    Singapore was Malaysia’s biggest export destination during the period, totalling RM62.53bil.

    Exports to China, Malaysia’s second highest destination, increased 28.5% to RM60.17bil, or 12.7%, of total exports during the nine-month period. The major contributor to the increase was electrical and electronic products, which accounted for 51.4% of total exports to China, Miti said.

    Total imports from Asean during the nine-month period increased 38.1% to RM106.84bil, accounting for 27.4% of Malaysia’s total imports.

    China was Malaysia’s largest import source during the period, accounting for RM49.60mil, followed by Japan at RM48.47mil