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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in September 2014 improved 1.6 per cent to RM119.72 billion from RM117.88 billion a year ago, while the trade surplus was recorded at RM9.33 billion, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

In a statement today, MITI said that increases in trade were recorded with Singapore which rose by RM1 billion, India (RM861.7 million), Australia (RM806.2 million), Saudi Arabia (RM706.4 million), Kuwait (RM410.9 million) and China (RM333.2 million).

Exports of manufactured goods for the month rose by 2.2 per cent to RM49.14 billion compared with September 2013, driven by higher exports of electrical and electronics (E&E) products by RM1.15 billion especially electronic integrated circuits; iron and steel products; and processed food.

"Optical and scientific equipment as well as chemicals and chemical products also contributed to the increase in exports," it said.

Exports of agricultural goods rose 11 per cent to RM6.57 billion, contributed mainly by higher exports of palm oil (crude palm oil, fractionated palm oil, palm kernel oil, olein and stearin) and increased export volume.

Exports of mining goods fell by 4.6 per cent to RM8.43 billion, with lower exports of crude petroleum.

For the nine-month period of 2014, MITI noted that Malaysia's trade for the period has exceeded the RM1 trillion mark with total trade valued at RM1.078 trillion.

The achievement was supported by strong demand from major markets mainly the US, the European Union particularly the Netherlands, Germany and Poland, as well as Asean.

Exports increased 8.6 per cent to RM569.66 billion and imports rose by 5.5 per cent to RM508.01 billion for the first three quarters of this year, while the trade surplus expanded by 43.3 per cent to RM61.64 billion.

Trade expansion with major markets of Asean increased by 4.7 per cent; the EU (6.2 per cent), China (4.1 per cent), the US (6.6 per cent), Japan (2.5 per cent), Australia (25.3 per cent), Taiwan (16.6 per cent), Hong Kong (20.9 per cent), South Korea (8.2 per cent), Saudi Arabia (40.7 per cent) and India (7.3 per cent).

"Almost 90 per cent of exports to Asean comprised manufactured goods such as petroleum products, chemicals and chemical products, optical and scientific equipment, machinery appliances and parts, and E&E products.

"Apart from that, crude petroleum as well as palm oil (crude palm oil, fractionated palm oil, palm kernel oil, olein and stearin) were among the products that recorded growth during this period," it said.

Trade with free trade agreement (FTA) partner countries expanded by 5.4 per cent to RM675.55 billion with exports expanding 7.2 per cent to RM365.11 billion and imports rising 3.4 per cent to RM310.44 billion.

Malaysia's exports to China for the first three quarters were sustained at RM67.73 billion compared with RM67.83 a year ago.

This was driven primarily by exports of E&E products, which expanded by RM2.66 billion, and led by higher electronic integrated circuits exports.

Continuous demand from the US electronic industry saw exports to the country improving by 8.9 per cent to RM47.16 billion in the first nine months, while imxports increased by 3.9 per cent to RM39.13 billion.-- Bernama

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