April 5, 2018 / 4:00 AM / 16 days ago

Malaysia's Feb exports fall 2 pct y/y, hit by Lunar New Year holidays

    * Feb exports -2 pct y/y vs Reuters poll +8.3 pct
    * Feb imports -2.8 pct y/y vs poll forecast +7.1 pct
    * Trade surplus 9 bln rgt vs poll forecast of 9.3 bln rgt
    * Exports to China -9.7 pct, to U.S. +3.3 pct

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 (Reuters) - Malaysia's exports fell for the first time
in 18 months in February, showing the effects of shorter working days during the
Lunar New Year break, government data showed on Thursday.
    February's exports fell 2 percent from a year earlier, easing sharply from
the 17.9 percent rise recorded in January. A Reuters poll had forecast an 8.3
percent gain in February. 
    Analysts had warned Malaysia's trade data could be distorted by the timing
of the Lunar New Year holidays, which began in mid-February compared to
late-January the previous year. 
    It was the first decline in exports since October 2016. 
    Exports of mining goods and agricultural goods declined 10.2 percent and
23.3 percent respectively, data from the International Trade and Industry
Ministry showed.     
    But shipments of manufactured goods, which account for over 80 percent of
Malaysia's exports, rose 1.5 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.
    Imports in February declined 2.8 percent from a year earlier, the weakest
pace since October 2016, and down from an 11.6 percent growth in January. 
    Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit. The currency has been one of
Asia's best performers in the past year, strengthening about 14 percent.
    February's trade surplus narrowed to 9 billion ringgit ($2.33 billion),
compared with 9.7 billion ringgit in January.
    Exports to China, a major trading partner, fell 9.7 percent year-on-year in
February, although trade remained strong, rising 7.1 percent. 
    Shipments to the United States rose 3.3 percent from a year earlier, on the
back of higher exports of manufactured goods.    
    For January and February combined, exports grew 7.8 percent, while imports
rose by 4.6 percent, compared to the corresponding period in 2017.
    
    KEY DATA   
    (Exports and imports in percent, trade in billions of ringgit)      
                 Feb      Jan      Dec     Nov     Oct     Sept    Aug     July
   Exports      70.3     82.9     79.3     83.5    82.4    78.3    82.2    78.6
                                                                          
     y/y%       -2.0     17.9      4.7     14.4    18.9    14.8    21.5    30.9
   Imports      61.3     73.2     72.1     73.6    71.9    69.7    72.4    70.6
                                                                          
     y/y%       -2.8     11.6      7.9     15.2    20.9    15.2    22.6    21.8
   Balance       9.0      9.7      7.3     10.0    10.6    8.6     9.9     8.0
                                                                          
 
    MAIN EXPORTS
                         Feb 2018      % of      % change  
                                                     
                         (bln rgt)    total    vs year ago 
                                                     
 Electrical &              24.6        35.0        -0.1
 Electronic Products                           
 Petroleum products         6.4        9.1         22.5
 Chemicals and              5.7        8.1         -3.4
 chemicals products                            
                                               
 Palm oil & Palm-based      3.6        5.2        -24.0
 products                                      
                                               
 Manufactures of metal      3.2        4.6         17.8
 Machinery                  3.1        4.4         -6.1
 Liquefied natural gas      2.9        4.1        -11.8
                                               
 Optical and                2.7        3.8         11.7
 scientific equipment                          
 Crude petroleum            2.4        3.5         3.0
 Rubber products            2.0        2.8         -4.1
    
  EXPORT MARKETS                    
                   Feb 2018       % of      % change    
                                                  
                  (bln rgt)      total       vs year ago
                                                  
 China               8.6          12.3          -9.7
 Singapore           9.4          13.3          -6.0
 USA                 6.9           9.9          3.3
 Japan               5.6           7.9         -17.2
 Thailand            4.1           5.9          -3.1
 
($1 = 3.8670 ringgit)

 (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Sunil Nair)
  
0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below