Malaysia's exports experienced a significant decline of 14.1% year on year in June, totaling RM124 billion. The drop was mainly attributed to lower shipments of manufactured goods, and it was steeper than the 0.7% contraction seen in May. This marked the fourth consecutive month of declining exports for Malaysia, which had shown a growth of 9.8% in February.
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Imports in June also fell by 18.9% compared to the previous year, amounting to RM98.2 billion. The total trade of Malaysia decreased by 16.3% year on year, reaching RM222.1 billion. However, despite the challenging economic situation, the country still managed to maintain a trade surplus of RM25.8 billion, representing an 11.3% increase from the previous year.
In terms of key economic sectors, the manufacturing sector, accounting for nearly 88% of total exports, experienced a substantial decline of 9.5% year on year. Notably, exports of petroleum products, palm oil-based manufactured products, and chemicals faced significant reductions. Additionally, exports of agricultural goods and mining goods also experienced sharp drops of 42.1% and 34.9%, respectively, mainly due to lower export prices.
Exports to China, the country's largest trading partner, decreased by 8% in June, primarily driven by fewer exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and palm oil-based products. Exports to other key markets, such as ASEAN and the US, also saw declines of 8.5% and 19% year on year, respectively.
Despite the challenging trade conditions, Malaysia recorded a trade surplus of 25.8 billion ringgit ($5.68 billion) in June, surpassing analysts' estimates.