KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s trade in March rose by 4.6 percent to RM120.46 billion from the same month last year, boosted by higher exports versus imports, the International Trade and Industry Ministry said yesterday.
The ministry said higher trade was recorded with Singapore, which increased RM2.21 billion, Taiwan (RM1.64 billion), Australia (RM1.06 billion), the Netherlands (RM854.7 million), Hong Kong (RM391.6 million) and New Zealand (RM366.3 million). Exports in March expanded by 8.4 per cent year-on-year to RM65.03 billionand imports increased by 0.5 per cent to RM55.43 billion from March 2013.
Trade surplus surged by 96.8 per cent to RM9.59 billion in March 2014. Among the major exports were electrical and electronic products worth RM20.95 billion, with a 32.2 per cent share of total exports, up by 6.2 per cent from March 2013.Exports to Asean countries expanded by 10.9 per cent to RM18.47 billion,accounting for 28.4 per cent of Malaysia’s total exports in March 2014.
“The expansion was contributed by higher exports of refined petroleum products, palm oil, electrical and electronic products, optical and scientific equipment as well as chemicals and chemical products,” the ministry said in astatement.
Overall, MITI said exports to the European Union (EU) rose by 14.1 per centto RM6.04 billion in March 2014, contributed mainly by increases in exports to the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom.Total imports in March 2014 increased by 0.5 per cent to RM55.43 billion from March 2013.
Between January and March, Malaysia’s trade was valued at RM349.44 billion,an increase of 8.3 per cent from the corresponding period in 2013.
Exports rose by 10.9 per cent to RM187.91 billion while imports expanded by5.5 per cent to RM161.53 billion while trade surplus of RM26.39 billion was recorded for the period.Significant expansion in trade was recorded over the past three months of the year with China, an increase of 8.7 per cent, Asean rose 4.0 per cent,Japan (6.0 per cent), the European Union (4.3 per cent) and the United States(5.1 per cent).
Other countries which registered expansion in trade with Malaysia were Australia (up 29.8 per cent), Taiwan (27.3 per cent), Hong Kong (25.2 per cent),South Korea (9.7 per cent) and the United Arab Emirates (18.3 per cent).Trade with the United States increased by 5.1 per cent to RM27.39 billion in the first quarter of 2014, mainly due to increased exports of E&E products by3.0 per cent.
Total imports during January-March 2014 period increased by 5.5 per cent toRM161.53 billion.
The ministry said the three main categories of imports by end-use were intermediate goods, capital goods and consumption goods.
Intermediate goods worth RM32.24 billion or 58.2 per cent of total imports windled by 3.4 per cent.
Capital goods valued at RM8.3 billion or 15 per cent of total imports fell by 8.8 per cent and consumption goods, which accounted for RM4.36 billion or7.9 per cent of total imports, increased by 19.6 per cent, the ministry added. — Bernama