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Malaysia's exports rebound slower than expected in April, official data shows


Chemicals Products


Malaysia’s exports rebounded at a slower-than-expected 9.1% in April from a year earlier, as a surge in shipments of machineries, chemicals and palm oil offset a decline in deliveries of petroleum products and subdued electronics demand, official data Monday showed. Exports totalled RM114.72 billion in April compared with RM105.19 billion in the same month of 2023, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry said in a statement. That compares to the median estimate of a 14.1% increase in a Bloomberg survey of economists. In March, exports contracted 0.8% year-on-year. “The positive trend of Malaysia’s trade, exports and imports for January to April 2024 is in line with the expected recovery of the global trade,” the ministry said. Shipments of electrical and electronic products, which accounts for more than one-third of the gross exports, were up just 0.6% while that of petroleum products plunged 19%. Exports of palm oil was 14% higher, chemicals rose 22%, and machinery, equipment and parts surged 36%.


In terms of markets, exports to Malaysia’s biggest trading partner China inched up 2.1% while outbound deliveries climbed 17% to US and 63% to Taiwan. Gross imports in April grew 16% from a year earlier to RM107.02 billion. Inbound deliveries of intermediate goods — such as automotive parts and electronic component — gained 31%. Capital goods import rose a little under 10% while consumption goods were up nearly 20%. Trade surplus narrowed 39% to RM7.7 billion in April, making it the 48th consecutive month of surplus since May 2020, from RM12.63 billion in April 2023. On a month on month basis, exports plunged 11% and imports contracted 7.6% while trade surplus shrank 39%.