August 2, 2019 / 4:04 AM / 16 days ago

Malaysia's June exports drop 3.1% y/y, worse than forecast

    * June exports -3.1% y/y vs +1.8% forecast in Reuters poll
    * June imports -9.2% y/y vs poll forecast +1.1%
    * June trade surplus 10.3 bln rgt vs poll forecast 8.4 bln rgt
    * Exports to China -12% y/y; Exports to U.S. +8.8%

    KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Malaysian exports in June dropped 3.1% from
a year earlier, contrary to expectations for an increase as shipments to key
markets tumbled and demand for manufactured goods weakened, government data
showed on Friday.
    Export growth in June was below the 1.8% annual rise forecast by economists
in a Reuters poll, and sharply down from the 2.5% expansion recorded in May.  

    Exports to China, one of Malaysia's biggest trade partners, dropped 12%
year-on-year in June, amid lower shipments of electrical and electronic goods,
petroleum products, and metal products, data from the International Trade and
Industry Ministry showed. 
    Exports to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan also declined in June. Shipments
to the United States, however, were up 8.8%, the data showed. 
    Shipments of manufactured goods, which make up nearly 84% of total exports,
declined 5% in June from a year earlier, the ministry said. 
    Mining exports, however, jumped 15.4% on higher volumes and prices of crude
oil and liquefied natural gas. 
    Imports in June plunged 9.2% compared with a year-ago period, with declines
posted in all three categories: intermediate, capital and consumption goods. In
May, imports had grown 1.4%.   
    Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit.
    Trade surplus in June widened to 10.3 billion ringgit ($2.48 billion) from
9.1 billion ringgit in the previous month.
    For the first half of 2019, exports declined 0.2%, while imports were down
1.8%, compared with the same period last year. The trade surplus rose 10.9% to
67.1 billion ringgit. 

    KEY DATA
    (Exports and imports in percent, trade in billions of ringgit)
                June     May    April  March   Feb    Jan    Dec   Nov    Oct
   Exports      76.2    84.2    85.2   84.0   66.6   82.8   83.3   84.8  96.3
                                                                         
     y/y%       -3.1    +2.5    +1.1   -0.5   -5.3    3.1    4.8   1.6   17.7
   Imports      65.9    75.1    74.4   69.7   55.5   73.9   72.8   77.2  80.1
                                                                         
     y/y%       -9.2    +1.4    +4.4   -0.1   -9.4    1.0    1.0   5.0   11.4
   Balance      10.3     9.1    10.9   14.4   11.1   11.5   10.4   7.6   16.3
                                                                         
 
    MAIN EXPORTS
                         June 2019     % of      % change  
                                                     
                         (bln rgt)    total    vs year ago 
                                                     
 Electrical &              28.1        36.9        -6.0
 Electronic Products                           
 Petroleum products         6.1        8.0         -2.4
 Chemicals and              4.6        6.0         1.3
 chemicals products                            
                                               
 Manufactures of metal      3.4        4.4        -15.7
                                               
 Machinery                  3.2        4.2        -10.9
 Palm oil & Palm-based      3.2        4.2         3.0
 agricultural products                         
 Crude petroleum            3.1        4.1         31.7
 Liquefied natural gas      2.9        3.8         5.5
                                               
 Optical and                2.8        3.7         -4.9
 scientific equipment                          
 Palm Oil-Based             1.8        2.4         0.9
 Manufactured                                  
 Products                                      
    
  EXPORT MARKETS                    
                  June 2019       % of      % change       
                  (bln rgt)      total       vs year ago    
                                                    
 Singapore           10.6         13.9            -0.9
 China               10.1         13.2           -12.0
 USA                 7.6          10.0            8.8
 Hong Kong           4.6           6.0           -25.0
 Japan               4.5           5.9           -13.5
 

($1 = 4.1510 ringgit)

 (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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