Malaysia Exports Grow at Faster-Than-Expected Pace in July

By Yantoultra Ngui Features Dow Jones Newswires

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia's exports grew at a faster-than-expected pace in July on the back of a jump in shipments across all major export products.

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Exports from the third-largest economy in Southeast Asia rose 30.9% in July from a year earlier, according to Malaysia's International Trade and Industry Ministry on Wednesday. A Wall Street Journal poll of economists had forecast a 21.8% gain. In June, exports grew 10.0% from a year earlier.

Electrical and electronic products, which accounted for 35.5% of total exports, increased 28.3% in July from a year earlier. Shipments of petroleum products and LNG surged 76% and 50.8% respectively from a year earlier, according to a statement. Exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products increased by 13.1% from a year earlier in July.

The pace of growth in July marks a strong rebound from the moderating export growth in June. It was also the eighth straight month of double-digit growth in exports.

In addition, it was also the third straight month where exports posted a stronger year-over-year growth than imports in Malaysia. On a month-on-month basis, exports in July 2017 were higher by 7.6%.

Exports are an important driver of the Malaysian economy. Strong exports of manufactured goods and commodities helped Malaysia's economy expand 5.8% in the second quarter, its fastest pace in more than two years.

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Exports to China jumped 28.8% in July from a year earlier, marking the ninth consecutive month of double-digit growth, due to higher exports of electrical and electronic products, rubber products, LNG, chemicals and chemical products as well as metal.

Exports to the U.S grew by 14.4% from a year earlier in July, led by greater exports of manufactured goods, according to the statement.

Imports increased by 21.8% in July from a year earlier, driven by higher imports of intermediate and consumption goods. The gain in overall imports was offset by a 16.5% year-over-year decline in imports of capital goods, according to the statement. The poll of economists had predicted a 12.6% increase. Imports grew 3.7% in June from a year earlier.

The trade surplus shrank to 8.0 billion ringgit ($1.88 billion) from MYR9.9 billion in June.

Write to Yantoultra Ngui at yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 06, 2017 00:14 ET (04:14 GMT)