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Malaysia's July exports unexpectedly rise 3.1% y/y, beats forecast

* July exports +3.1% vs -1.2% forecast in Reuters poll

* July imports -8.7% vs -5.5% forecast in Reuters poll

* Trade surplus 25.2 bln rgt, poll forecast surplus 15.9 bln rgt

* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/econ-polls?RIC=MYEXP%3DECI export poll data

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s exports rose for the second straight month in July, expanding 3.1% from a year earlier on higher shipments of manufactured goods and agricultural commodities, particularly palm oil, government data showed on Friday.

The expansion beat a 1.2% drop forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll, though it was slower than the 8.8% jump recorded in June.

Imports in July shrank by 8.7% from a year earlier, faster than the 5.6% decline recorded in the prior month, data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed. Analysts had expected a fall of 5.5%.

Malaysia’s trade surplus widened to a historical high of 25.15 billion ringgit ($6.03 billion) last month, beating the previous record of 20.9 billion ringgit in June. ($1 = 4.1730 ringgit) (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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