July 7, 2017 / 4:04 AM / a month ago

Malaysia's May exports soar 32.5 pct y/y, well above expectations

    * May exports +32.5 pct y/y vs Reuters poll +21.3 pct
    * May imports +30.4 pct y/y vs poll f'cast +18.0 pct
    * Trade surplus 5.5 bln rgt vs poll f'cast of 7.5 bln rgt
    * Exports to China +51.5 pct y/y, U.S. +16.3 pct, EU +29.7 pct

    KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 (Reuters) - Malaysia's exports in May rose 32.5 percent
from a year earlier, significantly above expectations, as shipments of
manufactured goods surged, government data showed on Friday.
    The growth pace beat the 21.3 percent forecast by a Reuters poll and April's
 20.6 percent growth. 
    Export growth outpaced those of imports for the first time since May 2016,
data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed. Imports rose
30.4 percent from a year earlier, up from the 24.7 percent in April. 
    The trade surplus in May narrowed to 5.5 billion ringgit ($1.28 billion)
from April's 8.8 billion ringgit.
    Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit. The currency has been one of
Asia's best-performing ones this year, strengthening about 3 percent in the
second quarter.
    Exports to China rose 51.5 percent from a year earlier, the highest annual
growth since February 2010, on higher demand for electrical and electronic goods
as well as petroleum products.
    Shipments to the United States rose 16.3 percent on rising shipments of
manufactured goods, while those to the European Union grew 29.7 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)      
    
                 May      Apr      Mar     Feb     Jan     Dec     Nov    Oct
   Exports       79.4     74.0    82.6     71.8    70.2    75.6   72.8    69.2
                                                                         
     y/y%        32.5     20.6    24.1     26.5    13.6    10.7    7.8    -8.6
   Imports       73.9     65.2    77.2     63.1    65.5    66.8   63.8    59.4
                                                                         
     y/y%        30.4     24.7    39.4     27.7    16.1    11.5   11.2    -6.6
   Balance       5.49     8.75    5.41     8.71    4.71    8.72   9.03    9.76
                                                                         
 
    MAIN EXPORTS
                          May 2017       % of      % change  
                                                       
                           (bln rgt)    total    vs year ago 
                                                       
 Electrical &               28.6         36.0        31.3
 Electronic Products                             
 Palm oil & Palm-based       4.8         6.0         27.5
 products                                        
                                                 
 Liquefied natural gas       1.9         2.4         3.8
 Chemicals and               5.7         7.2         21.0
 chemicals products                              
                                                 
 Crude oil                   2.1         2.7         56.8
                                                 
 Petroleum products          7.9         10.0        88.2
 Machinery                   3.8         4.8         17.1
 Manufactures of metal       3.0         3.8         12.8
 Rubber products             2.3         3.0         50.8
 Optical and                 5.6         3.2         14.7
 scientific equipment                            
    
  EXPORT MARKETS                    
                   May 2017       % of      % change    
                                                  
                  (bln rgt)      total       vs year ago
                                                  
 Singapore           12.3         15.5          45.0
 China               10.7         13.5          51.5
 USA                 7.4           9.3          16.3
 Japan               4.8           6.1          12.8
 Thailand            4.1           5.2          19.2
 

($1 = 4.2965 ringgit)

 (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Sunil Nair)
  

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