KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s total trade soared to RM1.008 trillion in the first seven months of 2017, up 22.7% from a year earlier, said the international trade and industry ministry (Miti). “(The) expansion was supported mainly by trade with Asean, China, the United States, the European Union, Japan, India and Taiwan. “Exports expanded by 22.3% to RM529.68 billion, while imports rose by 23% at RM478.71 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM50.97 billion,” it said in a statement on Wednesday. The ministry said exports maintained the steady growth momentum in July, rising 30.9% to RM78.62 billion, versus a year ago. It said exports posted a stronger year-on-year growth than imports for the third straight month and all major export products registered increases.
Electrical and electronic (E&E) led exports to register double-digit growth for the seventh straight month, up 28.3% or RM6.15 billion, followed by mining goods, which expanded by 27.5% to RM6.71 billion and agriculture goods which rose 14.8% to RM6.42 billion. Miti said major exports in July 2017 were E&E products valued at RM27.91 billion, petroleum products (RM7.09 billion), chemicals and chemical products (RM5.72 billion), palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products (RM4.46 billion) and liquefied natural gas (RM3.79 billion). As for imports in July, it increased by 21.8% to RM70.59 billion and the three main categories of imports by end-use were intermediate goods, valued at RM39.9 billion, capital goods (RM9.18 billion) and consumption goods (RM5.99 billion). “During the first seven months of 2017, imports were valued at RM478.71 billion, an increase of 23% from the corresponding period of 2016. “Intermediate goods were valued at RM278.71 billion, increasing by 25.6%, capital goods (RM65.78 billion; ↑15.7%) and consumption goods (RM40.35 billion; ↑5.1 %),” Miti said.