KUALA LUMPUR: Although export growth may moderate next year due to base effects, it will continue to be led by electrical and electronic (E&E) products and commodities such as crude petroleum and palm oil says International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
Exports are projected to grow by around 3.4 per cent.
“With the expected moderation, we would need to do more in our export promotion,”he said in a statement following the release of the October trade data.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has projected a moderation of world merchandise trade volume to around 3.2 per cent from 3.6 per cent this year.
As for the numbers this year, Mustapa said Malaysia’s exports in 2017 thus far have been expanding beyond expectations.
Malaysia continues its growth in trade momentum in October 2017, recording an increase of 19.8 per cent to RM154.3 billion compared with the same month last year.
“In terms of the year-on-year comparison, our October exports increased by 18.9 per cent to RM82.4 billion the third time we have surpassed the RM80 billion mark in 2017. “
Imports grew by 20.9 per cent to RM71.9 billion.
The trade surplus of RM10.6 billion recorded this month is the highest since April 2016.
Meanwhile total trade surplus from January to October this year rose by 14.4 per cent from RM70.1 billion to RM80.2 billion.
For the first ten months of 2017, the total trade amounted to RM1.47 trillion, which marked a 21.5 per cent increase compared to the similar period last year.
Exports increased by 21.1 per cent to RM772.7 billion while imports grew by 21.9 per cent to RM692.5 billion.
The strong export performance in October 2017 was underpinned by higher exports across major sectors namely E&E products (16.9 per cent), petroleum products (21.4 per cent), chemicals and chemical products (17.5 per cent) as well as palm oil and palm-oil based agriculture products (7.9 per cent).
Almost all key markets registered double digit export growth in October 2017, including Asean, which grew by 19.5 per cent to RM23.9 billion, China (20.5 per cent to RM11.5 billion), the USA (13.8 per cent to RM8.0 billion) and Japan (20.4 per cent to RM5.9 billion).
Exports to the EU also grew by 9.3 per cent to RM7.9 billion.