Malaysia exports drop 6.8%

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    KUALA LUMPUR- Malaysian exports in September recorded their biggest decline in nearly three years amid subdued demand from major trade partners, government data showed on Monday.

    Exports shrank 6.8 percent in September from a year earlier, widening from the 0.8 percent drop posted in the previous month.

    September’s export numbers came in far lower than analysts’ forecast for a marginal drop of 0.1 percent. The month’s figures were the worst export performance since October 2016, when shipments fell 8.5 percent on-year.

    Exports to China, one of Malaysia’s biggest trade partners, fell 3 percent on lower demand for electrical and electronic goods, chemical and petroleum products, and liquefied natural gas, data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed.

    Exports to Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Japan also declined in September, but shipments to the United States were up 6.6 percent.

    Shipments of manufactured goods, which contributed about 85.4 percent of September’s total exports, contracted by 5.8 percent from a year earlier, while exports of mining goods declined 15.2 percent.

    Shipments of palm oil, a major export commodity for Malaysia, dropped 9.3 percent year-on-year, the data showed.

    Malaysia’s imports in September jumped 2.4 percent from a year earlier, recovering after three straight months of decline. In August, imports had plunged 12.5 percent.

    Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit. – Reuters