Malaysia’s burgeoning trade a bright spot among Southeast Asian nations: Moody’s Analytics
31 May 2021
Malaysia’s burgeoning trade performance has been a bright spot among Southeast Asia economies, according to Moody’s Analytics.
Despite battling with record high infections domestically, all manufacturing plants were still operating at above 50 per cent capacity, the firm said.
“Malaysia plays an integral role in the global supply chain and will continue to benefit from higher global demand,” Moody’s Analytics said in a statement today.
The firm said Malaysia’s imports, which grew 24.4 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) and 5.4 per cent month-on-month (M-o-M) in April, had exceeded its expectations.
Exports surged 63 per cent Y-o-Y, but the strong growth rate was inflated by the low base effect, when exports nosedived during the peak of the pandemic and the subsequent full lockdown last year, it added.
Moody’s Analytics said as expected, the main contributor to exports was electrical and electronics products such as semiconductors and integrated circuits.
It said rubber exports continued to rise in monthly terms as a record-high number of Covid-19 infections in Asia Pacific ballooned demand for medical products like rubber gloves.
However, it said export value of manufacturing products declined by RM300 million in April.
It said agriculture exports value increased by RM300 million from March, which was in line with higher exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products.
On the country’s trading partners, Moody’s Analytics said Singapore and China remained the major country of exports, totalling close to one-third of Malaysia’s total exports.
The increase in imports was broad-based across all three categories (intermediate goods, capital goods, and consumption goods).
“Consumption goods increased due to higher imports of durable goods demanded during the Hari Raya festive period, which lasts for one month from April to May.
“An increase in intermediate goods and capital goods, which account for a total of 65 per cent of import value, is a welcome sign that Malaysia is ramping up manufacturing production for exports,” it said.