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Trade value declines in January

KUALA LUMPUR, 6 March 2009: Malaysia recorded RM8.83 billion in trade surplus in January, making it the 135th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997, but total volume declined by 29.7% from a year ago.

Total trade value for the month was RM67.77 billion.

Exports in January 2009 were valued at RM38.3 billion, a drop of 27.8% from January 2008, the Statistics Department said in a statement today.

Total imports fell by 32% to RM29.47 billion from a year ago.

“Month-on-month, exports fell by 16.9% from December 2008, while imports were lower by 14.7%. The performance in January was in tandem with countries that have announced their January trade figures,” it said.

Major export products were electrical and electronics products valued at RM13.74 billion or 35.9% of total exports, liquefied natural gas (RM4.18 billion or 10.9% of total exports), palm oil (RM2.77 billion or 7.2%) chemical and chemical products (RM2.12 billion or 5.5%) and crude petroleum (RM1.81 billion or 4.7%), it said.

Other export products were machinery, appliances and parts (RM1.35 billion or 3.5% of total exports), refined petroleum products (RM1.16 billion or 3%), wood products (RM1.02 billion or 2.7%), transport equipment (RM1.01 billion or 2.6%) and metal (RM948.4 million or 2.5%).

Singapore, Japan, the US, China and South Korea were the top five export destinations, accounting for 51.7% of Malaysia’s exports in January.

Exports to Asean, valued at RM9.18 billion or 24% of Malaysia’s total exports in January 2009, fell by 38.1% from January 2008.

The lower volume was due to lower exports of electrical and electronic products, refined petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products, machinery appliances and parts, metal manufactures, crude petroleum and iron and steel products, said the department.

Total imports in January were down by 32% to RM29.47 billion from last year.

The three main import categories were intermediate goods valued at RM19.85 billion or 67.4% of total imports, capital goods (RM4.83 billion or 16.4%) and consumption goods (RM2.42 billion or 8.2%).

Top 10 import sources were China, Japan, the US, Singapore, Thailand, Germany, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan and Australia.

Total imports from Asean amounted to RM6.67 billion or 23.3% of Malaysia’s total imports. — Bernama



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