KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s overall trade contracted at a slower pace of 2.4% year-on-year to RM239.52bil amid a decline in exports to major trading partners and a narrowing of the trade surplus.
The country’s exports eased 4.4% to RM126.19bil while imports were a marginal 0.2% lower at RM113.33bil during the month, said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) in a statement today.
It reported a trade surplus of RM12.87 for the month, which was below that of market expectations.
“Malaysia’s performance was similar with its key trading partners notably China, Taiwan RoC and Indonesia which experienced negative trade growth in October 2023 and a reduction in global imports,” it added.
However, the country’s exports were seen bouncing back slightly from September 2023, posting an increase of 1.5% while imports registered double-digit growth of 13.4%.
In October, Malaysia’s exports of manufactured goods slipped 3.5% y-o-y due to lower demand for petroleum products as well as electrical and electronic products.
The exports of agriculture goods, however, improved 3.3% to RM8.9bil while the exports of mining goods dove 21.9% to RM8.75bil due to lesser exports of liquefied natural gas and crude petroleum.
By destination, exports to Asean were down 5.7% to RM36.57bil led by declining shipments to Singapore and Thailand.
Trade with China rose 1.9% y-o-y to RM42.31bil after seven consecutive months of decline, although exports were 7% lower to RM17.13bil due to the decrease in exports of LNG, palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, E&E products as well as chemicals and chemicals products.
Overall trade with the US declined 7.7% y-o-y to RM22.14bil but exports rose 4% to RM14.3bil.
As for imports, intermediate goods accounted for RM55.87bil of the total, 7.9% lower y-o-y due to lower imports of parts and accessories for non-transport capital goods.
Capital goods stood at RM12.71bil, or 8.6% higher y-o-y due to higher imports of non-transport capital goods while consumption goods gained 9.9% to RM9.37bil due to higher imports of processed food and beverages mainly for household consumption.