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Container ships sit docked next to gantry cranes at Port Klang in this aerial photograph taken over Klang district, Selangor, Malaysia. Bloomberg Photo
Container ships sit docked next to gantry cranes at Port Klang in this aerial photograph taken over Klang district, Selangor, Malaysia. Bloomberg Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s exports in September expanded 6.7 per cent to RM83.05 billion from last year, sustaining a monthly value above RM80 billion while imports declined 2.7 per cent to RM67.78 billion.

As a result, trade surplus posted a double digit increment of 85.9 per cent, amounting to RM15.26 billion, the largest trade surplus ever recorded since October 2008.

This surplus marked the 251st consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997.

The country registered a total trade of RM150.83 billion in September 2018, an increase of 2.3 per cent from RM147.51 billion in September last year.

In a statement, International Trade and Industry Ministry said expansion in trade was seen with major trading partners, namely Hong Kong SAR, Asean, Taiwan, Australia, Saudi Arabia and the United States of America (USA).

The higher exports was driven mainly by higher exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products, chemicals and chemical products, iron and steel products as well as optical and scientific equipment, it added.

On a month-on-month basis, exports and trade surplus expanded by 1.5 per cent and 846.3 per cent, respectively.

Total trade and imports however contracted by 6.9 per cent and 15.5 per cent, respectively.

The increase in exports was mainly driven by manufactured goods which increased by 7.9 per cent year-on-year to RM70.32 billion and accounted for 84.7 per cent of Malaysia’s total exports.

For the first nine months of 2018, total trade expanded by 5.5 per cent to RM1.382 trillion compared to the same period in 2017.

Exports increased 6.3 per cent to RM733.61 billion while imports grew at a slower pace of 4.7 per cent to RM647.89 billion.

Trade surplus for this period rose 20.4 per cent to RM85.72 billion compared to the same period last year.

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