PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia's exports in October surged to a historic high of RM96.4 billion, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
In a statement, he said the country also recorded trade surplus of RM16.3 billion, an indication that it is on the right track towards achieving Pakatan Harapan government’s three-year fiscal consolidation plan.
He said the key indicators by the Statistics Department’s latest provisional data revealed that exports in October 2018 registered a new high of RM96.4 billion, an increase of 17.7 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) while on a month-on-month (m-o-m) basis, exports were up 16.2 per cent or RM13.4 billion from RM83.0 billion.
“Further, on a y-o-y basis, export growth was contributed by expansion in exports to China (+RM3.7 billion), Hong Kong (+RM2.2 billion), Singapore (+RM2.1 billion), Taiwan (+RM1.4 billion) and Australia (+RM1.3 billion).
“Total trade which was valued at RM176.4 billion increased RM22.7 billion or 14.8 per cent from October 2017. It also posted an increase of RM25.8 billion or 17.1 per cent compared to September 2018.
“The trade surplus was RM16.3 billion, an increase of RM6.3 billion (+63.1 per cent) from a year ago. It was also higher by RM1.1 billion (+7.2 per cent) when compared to the previous month,” he added.
Lim said on a m-o-m basis, exports increased RM13.4 billion (+16.2 per cent) from RM83.0 billion as well as all main products recorded increases.
“The export of electrical and electronic (E&E) products increased RM5.5 billion (+16.8 per cent) from RM32.9 billion and crude petroleum increased RM1.1 billion or 40.7 per cent from RM2.7 billion due to the increase in both export volume (+31.8 per cent) and average unit value (+6.7 per cent);
The export value of refined petroleum products expanded RM1.0 billion or 18.3 per cent from RM5.7 billion due to the increase in both average unit value (+16.2 per cent) and export volume (+1.8 per cent), he added.
“Export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) increased RM927.7 million (+29.5 per cent) from RM3.1 billion due to the increase in both export volume (+27.5 per cent) and average unit value (+1.6 per cent);
“While palm oil and palm oil-based products exports increased RM599.3 million or 10.8 per cent from RM5.6 billion. Exports of palm oil increased RM253.0 million or 7.5 per cent due to the increase in export volume (+9.2 per cent) as average unit value decreased 1.5 per cent;
“Timber and timber-based products rose RM393.0 million (+22.3 per cent) from RM1.8 billion; and natural rubber recorded an increase of RM8.2 million or 2.7 per cent from RM306.5 million due to the increase in export volume (+3.5 per cent ) as average unit value decreased 0.8 per cent,” he added.
Lim said the export of primary commodities which had been severely hit by falling prices and falling demand, especially palm oil and natural rubber, recorded increases in October as compared to September 2018.
“This good news on the trade front must be treated with caution, because the global trade and economy is still fragile despite the 90-day truce declared in the trade war between the US and China,” he added.
He said such positive news follows the announcement by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) that approved Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in the manufacturing sector increased by RM35 billion, or 250 per cent, to RM49 billion for the first nine months of 2018, from RM14.0 billion in the same period last year.
“What is noteworthy is that for the months from May to September 2018, total approved FDI in the manufacturing sector was RM35 billion compared to RM7.3 billion from May to September 2017.
“This demonstrates that foreign investors’ confidence in Malaysia is resurging under the new leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, with a RM27.7 billion or 379 per cent hike in the said figures." he said.