KUALA LUMPUR- Malaysia’s exports fell for the third straight month in October, though the pace of decline was slower than expected, government data showed on Wednesday.
Exports shrank 6.7 percent in October, slower than the sharp 12.6 percent contraction forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll. In September, exports had fallen 6.8 percent, the biggest drop in three years.
Exports to China, one of Malaysia’s biggest trade partners, fell 11 percent in October, on lower shipments of electrical and electronic goods, petroleum and chemical products and crude oil, data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed.
Exports to Southeast Asia, the European Union, and Japan also declined in October, but shipments to the United States were up 2.7 percent.
Shipments of manufactured goods, which accounted for 85.8 percent of October’s total exports, dropped 4.5 percent year-on-year on lower demand for electrical and electronic goods, chemicals, petroleum and metal products.
Shipments of palm oil, a major export commodity for Malaysia, fell 9.8 percent from a year earlier, on lower volumes and prices, the data showed.
Malaysia’s imports in October fell 8.7 percent on-year, a sharp drop from the 2.4 percent rise in September. Declines were posted in all three categories of imports: intermediate, capital and consumption goods.
Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit.
The trade surplus in October widened to 17.3 billion ringgit ($4.15 billion) from 8.3 billion ringgit in the previous month. – Reuters