Commodities

Malaysia's May exports rise 2.5% y/y, below forecast

Credit: REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

Malaysia's exports rose in May amid a surge in palm oil shipments, though the pace of growth was slower than expected, government data showed on Thursday.

May exports +2.5% y/y vs 3.6% forecast in Reuters poll

May imports +1.4 pct y/y vs poll forecast 2.6%

May trade surplus 9.1 bln rgt vs poll forecast 8.2 bln rgt

Exports to China -2.2% y/y; Exports to U.S. +11.7

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Reuters) - Malaysia's exports rose in May amid a surge in palm oil shipments, though the pace of growth was slower than expected, government data showed on Thursday.

Exports grew 2.5% in May from a year earlier, below the 3.6% expansion forecast by economists in a Reuters poll. In April, exports had risen 1.1%.

Agricultural exports rose in May for the first time in 15 months, surging 15.3% year-on-year on the back of higher shipments of palm oil, a major export commodity for Malaysia, data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed.

Exports of manufactured goods, which accounted for more than 84% of total exports, grew 3.1% in May, the data showed.

Exports of mining goods, however, fell 10.9% on lower volumes of crude oil and liquefied natural gas.

Imports grew 1.4% in May from a year earlier, easing from the 4.4% rise seen in April.

Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit MYR=.

Trade surplus in May narrowed to 9.1 billion ringgit ($2.2 billion) from 10.9 billion ringgit in the previous month.

Exports to China, a major trading partner, declined 2.2% amid lower shipments of manufactured goods.

Exports to the United States, however, jumped 11.7% on higher demand for electrical and electronic products, palm oil and related products, and other manufactured goods.

KEY DATA

(Exports and imports in percent, trade in billions of ringgit)

May

April

March

Feb

Jan

Dec

Nov

Oct

Sept

Exports MYEXP=ECI

84.2

85.2

84.0

66.6

82.8

83.3

84.8

96.3

83.1

y/y%

+2.5

+1.1

-0.5

-5.3

3.1

4.8

1.6

17.7

6.7

Imports MYIMP=ECI

75.1

74.4

69.7

55.5

73.9

72.8

77.2

80.1

67.8

y/y%

+1.4

+4.4

-0.1

-9.4

1.0

1.0

5.0

11.4

-2.7

Balance MYTRD=ECI

9.1

10.9

14.4

11.1

11.5

10.4

7.6

16.3

15.3

MAIN EXPORTS

May 2019

% of

% change

(bln rgt)

total

vs year ago

Electrical & Electronic Products

29.6

34.9

0.5

Petroleum products

6.9

8.2

-14.9

Chemicals and chemicals products

4.9

5.8

7.7

Palm oil & Palm-based agricultural products

4.3

5.1

17.5

Manufactures of metal

4.1

4.8

-6.8

Machinery

3.8

4.5

14.9

Optical and scientific equipment

3.0

3.6

3.8

Liquefied natural gas

3.0

3.5

-5.2

Crude petroleum

2.5

3.0

-20.0

Rubber products

2.2

2.7

7.5

EXPORT MARKETS

May 2019

% of

% change

(bln rgt)

total

vs year ago

China

11.3

13.4

-2.2

Singapore

11.4

13.6

2.6

USA

7.8

9.3

11.7

Japan

6.0

7.1

7.5

Hong Kong

5.4

6.4

3.4

($1 = 4.1325 ringgit)

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

((rozanna.latiff@thomsonreuters.com; +603 23338034; Reuters Messaging: rozanna.latiff.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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