Year-on-year, exports jumped by 17.7 percent to MYR to MYR 96.4 billion in October 2018, after a 6.7 percent rise in September and far above market consensus of a 6.2 percent rise. Sales increased for: electrical & electronic products (23.3 percent to MYR 38.4 billion, 39.8 percent of total exports); refined petroleum products (37.3 percent to MYR 6.7 billion, 6.9 percent share); crude petroleum (32.8 percent to MYR 3.8 billion, 3.9 percent share); liquefied natural gas/LNG (38.8 percent to MYR 4.1 billion, 4.2 percent share); and timber and timber-based products (6.6 percent to 2.2 billion, 2.2 percent share). In contrast, outbound shipments fell for: palm oil and palm oil-based products (-11.6 percent to MYR 6.2 billion, 6.4 percent of total share); and natural rubber (-2.8 percent to MYR 314.7 million, 0.3 percent of total share).
Outbound shipments went up to China (33 percent); Singapore (18.3 percent); and the US (7.6 percent).
Imports soared 11.4 percent from a year earlier to MYR 80.1 billion in October 2018, missing market expectations of a 2.8 percent gain and after a 2.7 percent drop in a month earlier. Purchases of intermediate goods rose 1 percent to MYR 39.3 billion, consisting of 49.1 percent of total imports. The increase was driven by parts & accessories of transport equipment (13.4 percent); fuel & lubricants, processed, others (32.7 percent); fuel & lubricants, primary (115.2 percent), and food and beverages, processed, mainly for industries (32.7 percent). Also, imports of consumption goods recorded a 8 percent gain to MYR 6.4 billion, consisting of 10.7 percent share. The increase was mainly attributed to non-durables (23.3 percent); food & beverages, processed, mainly for household consumption (7.3 percent) and durables (17.8 percent). On the other hand, imports of capital goods shrank 1.6 percent to MYR 9.4 billion, consisting of 11.8 percent share, due to a drop in capital goods except transport equipment (-3.4 percent) while imports of transport equipment, industrial rose (18.5 percent).
Considering the first ten months of the year, the trade surplus increased sharply to MYR 102 billion from MYR 81.2 billion in the same period 2017.