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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian exports decreased to RM63.6 billion from RM63.9 billion last year, coming in below market expectations.

The International Trade and Industry Ministry said while exports remained high at RM63.6 billion, total imports were lower by 5.3 per cent to RM54.59 billion.

A trade surplus of RM9.01 billion was recorded, the 207th consecutive month of trade surplus, and also an increase of 41.8 per cent from last year.

Total trade, however shrank by 2.8 per cent and the ministry said it was in tandem with regional trade performance.

The data beat market expectations and a Business Times poll, which expected exports to grow by an average 2.4 per cent, imports by 2.03 per cent and the trade balance to average RM6.92 billion.

According to the ministry’s statement, exports of manufactured goods contributed 75.5 per cent to total exports.

Exports of electrical and electronic products rose by 6 per cent, primarily electronic integrated circuits.

Other manufactured goods that registered increases were iron and steel products, machinery, appliances and parts, chemicals and chemical products as well as optical and scientific equipment.

In terms of markets, exports to US rose by a double digit due to manufactured goods while exports to the European Union also increased.

Exports to China and Japan dropped.

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