Thursday July 5, 2012
May exports up 6.7%
By SHARIDAN M. ALI
Higher sales of petroleum, E&E products boost figures
PETALING JAYA: Total exports for the country grew by 6.7% or RM3.7bil to RM58.8bil in May, backed by an increase in sales of petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as electrical and electronic (E&E) products, according to the latest data from the Department of Statistics.
For the month under review on year-on-year (yoy) basis, petroleum products which made up 5.7% of total exports surged 85.7% or RM1.6bil to RM3.4bil due to a 9.1% rise in export volume.
LNG, which contributed 7.5% of total exports, expanded 40.6% or RM1.3bil from RM3.1bil due to an increase in average unit value by 51.6%.
E&E products, which contributed 32.8% of total exports, went up 1.1% or RM207.3mil to RM19.3bil.
Total trade in May, valued at RM113bil, grew 11.1% from a year ago. On a month-on-month basis, growth was 4.6% or RM5bil.
A trade surplus of RM4.6bil was registered in May. The surplus decreased 45.8% from RM8.5bil registered a year ago. Compared with the previous month, it also dropped 38.7%.
On yoy basis, capital goods were the major contributor to the higher imports, followed by intermediate and consumption goods.
Imports of capital goods, which accounted for 16.4% of total imports, expanded by 41.9% or RM2.6bil due to increases mainly in machineries and industrial transport equipments.
The import of intermediate goods, which constituted 62.4% of total imports, grew 6.6% or RM2.1bil to RM33.8bil.
Consumption goods, which constituted 7% of total imports, increased by RM492.7mil or 14.9%.
According to OSK Research, the trade data for May is much better than those of Indonesia, where both non-oil and oil shipments were a drag on exports. “The fall in oil exports in Malaysia was more than offset by gains in non-oil shipments.
“So far in the first five months of the year, exports were up by just 3.9% yoy,” it said in a report yesterday.
It said the ongoing eurozone crisis would likely put a dampener on external demand and, hence, real GDP this year.
“Nevertheless, we maintain our growth projection of 5.2% for 2012 is attainable on the back of government support for the economy via increased spending especially in infrastructure.
“As for monetary policy, we expect the central bank to hold the overnight policy rate (OPR) steady at 3% at its meeting tomorrow for the time being, but as growth accelerates in the second half and price pressures build up, we think the OPR could be raised by 25 basis points by year-end,” it said.