June 5, 2018 / 4:00 AM / 6 months ago

Malaysia's April exports surge 14 pct y/y, beat forecast

    * April exports up 14 pct y/y vs Reuters poll of 6.3 pct rise
    * April imports up 9.1 pct y/y vs poll forecast of 3.1 pct growth
    * Trade surplus 13.1 bln rgt vs poll forecast of 12.2 bln rgt
    * Exports to China up 22 pct, up 1.7 pct to the United States 

    KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 (Reuters) - Malaysia's April exports rose 14 percent from a year
earlier, buoyed by strong demand for the country's manufactured goods, government data showed on
Tuesday.
    Export growth was more than double the 6.3 percent rise forecast by a Reuters poll, and
significantly higher than the 2.2 percent annual growth in March.
    Malaysia's exports in April totalled 84.2 billion ringgit, the second highest monthly export
value recorded after last month's record of 84.5 billion ringgit, the International Trade and
Industry Ministry said in a statement.
    Driving export growth was a surge in demand for manufactured goods, especially electrical
and electronic products. Shipments of manufactured goods accounted for about 84 percent of total
exports, its highest share since September 2017.
    April imports rose 9.1 percent annually, nearly triple the forecast of 3.1 percent and a
strong reversal from the 9.6 percent decline in March.
    Imports of intermediate goods, which account for 47.5 percent of total imports, fell 11.9
percent from a year earlier. Imports of capital goods grew 4.8 percent and intake of consumption
goods went up 7.8 percent.
    Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit.
    April's trade surplus widened to 13.1 billion ringgit ($3.30 billion), a slight dip from
14.7 billion ringgit a month earlier.
    Annual exports to China rebounded 22 percent in April, after declining 4.7 percent
year-on-year in March.
    Shipments to the United States expanded 1.7 percent from a year earlier on higher exports of
transport equipment, petroleum products as well as optical and scientific equipment.
    For the first four months of 2018, exports grew 7.8 percent, while imports rose 1.6 percent,
compared with the corresponding period last year.
    
    KEY DATA   
    (Exports and imports in percent, trade in billions of ringgit)      
                 April   March     Feb      Jan    Dec     Nov     Oct     Sept
    Exports      84.2     84.5     70.3    82.9    79.3    83.5    82.4    78.3
                                                                          
     y/y%         14       2.2     -2.0    17.9    4.7     14.4    18.9    14.8
    Imports      71.2     69.8     61.3    73.2    72.1    73.6    71.9    69.7
                                                                          
     y/y%         9.1     -9.6     -2.8    11.6    7.9     15.2    20.9    15.2
    Balance      13.1     14.7     9.0     9.7     7.3     10.0    10.6    8.6
                                                                          
 
    MAIN EXPORTS
                        April 2018     % of      % change  
                                                     
                         (bln rgt)    total    vs year ago 
                                                     
 Electrical &              31.8        37.8        21.2
 Electronic Products                           
 Chemicals and              4.6        5.4         17.8
 chemicals products                            
                                               
 Petroleum products         6.4        7.6         16.7
 Palm oil & Palm-based      4.2        5.0         -1.0
 products                                      
                                               
 Machinery                  3.6        4.2         6.2
 Manufactures of metal      4.7        5.6         42.8
 Crude petroleum            2.9        3.4         22.7
 Liquefied natural gas      2.8        3.4        -12.5
                                               
 Optical and                2.8        3.4         7.7
 scientific equipment                          
 Transport equipment        2.2        2.6        106.1
    
  EXPORT MARKETS                    
                  April 2018      % of      % change       
                  (bln rgt)      total       vs year ago    
                                                    
 China               12.4         14.7             22
 Singapore           11.0         13.0            3.7
 USA                 7.5           8.9            1.7
 Japan               5.0           6.0           -21.3
 Thailand            5.1           6.1            32.4
 
($1 = 3.9730 ringgit)

 (Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Sunil Nair)
  
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