June 5, 2017 / 4:01 AM / 2 months ago

Malaysia's April exports surge 20.6 pct y/y, slightly below forecast

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    * April exports +20.6 pct y/y vs Reuters poll +22.3 pct
    * April imports +24.7 pct y/y vs poll f'cast +32.6 pct
    * Trade surplus 8.8 bln rgt vs poll f'cast of 6.7 bln rgt
    * Exports to China +50.6 pct y/y, U.S. +11 pct, EU +26.5 pct

    KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 (Reuters) - Malaysia's export growth surged again in
April, though at a slightly slower pace compared to the previous month,
government data showed on Monday.
    April's exports rose 20.6 percent from a year earlier, the fifth straight
month of double-digit growth. The pace was just below the 22.3 percent growth
forecast in a Reuters poll and down from 24.1 percent in March.    
  
    Shipments of manufactured goods, which account for about four-fifths of
total exports, grew by 17.3 percent from a year earlier in April, data from the
International Trade and Industry Ministry showed. 
    Exports of mining goods jumped 51.8 percent on higher fuel prices and
volumes, while shipments of agricultural goods, led by palm oil products, rose
20.9 percent.
    Imports in April rose 24.7 percent from a year earlier, down from March's
39.4 percent growth, the highest annual increase in seven years.
    The trade surplus in April widened to 8.8 billion ringgit ($2.06 billion),
from March's 5.4 billion ringgit.
    Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit (MYR=>.  This year, the currency has
strengthened about 5 percent against the dollar. 
    Exports to China jumped 50.6 percent from a year earlier, on higher demand
for Malaysia's commodities, and electrical and electronic goods.
    Exports to the United States rose 11 percent on higher shipments of
electrical and electronic goods, while those to the European Union grew 26.5
percent.

    For a graphic on Malaysia's exports and imports, click: link.reuters.com/xyb28s
    
    KEY DATA   
    (Exports and imports in percent, trade in billions of ringgit)      
    
                Apr      Mar     Feb     Jan     Dec     Nov    Oct     Sept
   Exports      74.0    82.6     71.8    70.2    75.6   72.8    69.2    68.0
                                                                       
     y/y%       20.6    24.1     26.5    13.6    10.7    7.8    -8.6    -3.0
   Imports      65.2    77.2     63.1    65.5    66.8   63.8    59.4    60.5
                                                                       
     y/y%       24.7    39.4     27.7    16.1    11.5   11.2    -6.6    -0.1
   Balance      8.75    5.41     8.71    4.71    8.72   9.03    9.76    7.56
                                                                       
 
    MAIN EXPORTS
                          Apr 2017       % of      % change  
                                                       
                           (bln rgt)    total    vs year ago 
                                                       
 Electrical &               26.2         35.5        22.2
 Electronic Products                             
 Palm oil & Palm-based       4.2         5.7         20.8
 products                                        
                                                 
 Liquefied natural gas       3.3         4.4         50.1
 Chemicals and               5.5         7.4         18.0
 chemicals products                              
                                                 
 Crude oil                   2.4         3.2         65.7
                                                 
 Petroleum products          5.5         7.4         5.4
 Machinery                   3.5         4.7         -1.2
 Manufactures of metal       3.3         4.4         17.3
 Rubber products             2.3         3.1         36.3
 Optical and                 2.6         3.5         10.5
 scientific equipment                            
    
  EXPORT MARKETS                    
                   Apr 2017       % of      % change    
                                                  
                  (bln rgt)      total       vs year ago
                                                  
 Singapore           10.6         14.3          15.8
 China               10.2         13.7          50.6
 USA                 7.4          10.0          11.0
 Japan               6.4           8.6          44.7
 Thailand            3.9           5.2          22.1
 

($1 = 4.2655 ringgit)

 (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
  

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