World Economy

Malaysia July Exports Rise 30.9%

Malaysia July Exports Rise 30.9%Malaysia July Exports Rise 30.9%

Malaysia’s July exports rose 30.9% from a year earlier thanks to stronger shipments of electronics and electrical products amid robust demand from China, official data Wednesday showed.

Exports in July totaled 78.62 billion ringgit ($18.51 billion) compared with 60.1 billion ringgit in the same month last year, according to data released by the Department of Statistics. That compares with June’s 10% year-on-year gain. On a month-on-month basis, exports rose 7.6% in July, Nikkei Markets reported.

Economists cautioned against reading too much into the latest data as the numbers were likely skewed by seasonal factors as manufacturers resumed production following Eid al-Fitr celebrations in June.

“Exports remain at very healthy level partly as electronics segment continues to benefit from global demand,” said Affin Hwang Investment’s economist Alan Tan. “We expect some slowdown in exports in the second-half but the performance will be supported by global demand for semiconductors.”

Increase in exports, coupled with robust domestic demand, have boosted Malaysia’s economic growth to its fastest pace in more than two years. Gross domestic product at the third-largest Southeast Asian economy grew 5.8% between April and June compared with 5.6% in the first three months of the year.

Shipments of electrical and electronics goods, which accounts for more than a third of Malaysia’s total exports, increased 28.3% in July from a year earlier, while exports of palm oil and palm-based products climbed 13.1%.

In terms of markets, exports to Malaysia’s largest trading partner China surged 28.8% year-on-year in July, while shipments to Singapore rose 32.3% and that to the European Union grew 34.1%.

“The near-term outlook for Malaysian exports remains positive, boosted by the strength of economic growth in key East Asian export markets, notably China and ASEAN countries, as well as the strong economic recovery in the eurozone,” said Rajiv Biswas, an economist at IHS Markit.

Imports, meanwhile, expanded 21.8% from a year earlier to 70.59 billion ringgit in July, largely driven by intermediate and capital goods. On a month-on-month basis, imports rose 11.7% in July.

The trade surplus stood at eight billion ringgit in July, down 18.8% on month but 282.4% higher compared with July 2016. Electronics shipments continue to drive growth amid robust Chinese demand.

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