(File pix) International Trade and Industry Ministry said this was brought about by lower trade with Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Thailand and the Netherlands.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s total trade in September has decreased 2.7 per cent year-on-year to RM147.07 billion as exports experienced its largest monthly decline since October 2016.

International Trade and Industry Ministry said this was brought about by lower trade with Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, Thailand and the Netherlands.

However, the ministry said higher trade was registered with China, India, South Korea, the United States and Saudi Arabia.

“For September, exports decreased by 6.8 per cent to RM77.7 billion. Imports amounted to RM69.37 billion, an increase of 2.4 per cent from September 2018,” it said in a statement.

The ministry said exports of manufactured goods in September 2019 which amounted to RM66.34 billion or 85.4 per cent of total exports, contracted by 5.8 per cent.

This was mainly due to lower exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products, petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products as well as textiles, apparels and footwear, it said.

However, increases were registered in exports of transport equipment, optical and scientific equipment as well as machinery, equipment and parts, it added.

Exports of mining goods, which have 7.3 per cent share of the total exports and valued at RM5.69 billion, declined 15.2 per cent on account of lower exports of crude petroleum due to lower volume and average unit value (AUV).

Exports of agriculture goods (6.7 per cent share or RM5.17 billion) were down by 8.3 per cent due to lower exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products, especially palm oil which recorded a decline of 9.3 per cent to RM3.05 billion following lower volume and AUV.

September’s trade surplus was valued at RM8.34 billion, a decline of 46.5 per cent compared with September 2018.

This marked the 263rd consecutive months of trade surplus since November 1997.

“On a month-on-month basis, total trade, exports, imports and trade surplus registered a decline of 3.1 per cent, 4.5 per cent, 1.6 per cent and 23.5 per cent respectively.”