In May sales increased by 3.4 percent from a year earlier to MYR 82.1 billion from a 14 percent jump in April and below market consensus of a 6.4 percent growth. Sales grew for: electrical & electronic products (2.1 percent to MYR 29.2 billion, 35.5 percent of total exports); crude petroleum (45.8 percent to MYR 3.1 billion, 3.8 percent share); refined petroleum products (10 percent to MYR 7.1 billion, 6.2 percent share); and liquefied natural gas (61 percent to MYR 3.1 billion, 3.8 percent share).
In contrast outbound shipments fell for : natural rubber (-19.1 percent to MYR 334.9 million, 0.4 percent share); timber and timber based products (-14.3 percent to MYR 1.7 billion, 2.1 percent share), and palm oil-based products (-15.4 percent to MYR 5.8 billion, 7 percent share). Exports rose to the EU countries (11.4 percent), followed by those to China (7.4 percent). By contrast exports fell to Singapore (-9.8 percent); the US (-5.6 percent), and the ASEAN countries (-1.9 percent).
Imports edged up 0.1 percent year-on-year to MYR 74 billion in May of 2018 from a 9.1 percent surge in the prior month, as capital goods declined by 0.7 percent to MYR 9.8 billion, mainly due to a fall in capital goods except transport equipment fell (-15.3 pct) while purchases of transport equipment, industrial jumped (105.6 pct). On the other hand, sales of intermediate goods dropped 5.3 percent to MYR 40.1 billion, dragged by parts and accessories of capital goods except transport equipment (-11.3 pct); fuel & lubricants, processed, others (-41.2 pct) . Also, purchases declined for consumption goods (-10.2 pct to MYR 6 billion), led by semi-durables (-21 pct), non-durables (-6.4 pct), and food and beverages, primary mainly for household consumption (-12.3 pct).
In April the trade surplus stood at MYR 13.1 billion.
Considering January to May, the trade surplus increased sharply to MYR 54.6 billion from MYR 33.05 billion in the same period of 2017.