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Julia Goh, Senior Economist at UOB Group, and Economist Loke Siew Ting assess the latest exports/imports data in Malaysia.

Key Quotes

“Malaysia’s export and import values breached record high again in Apr due to year-ago low base effects and continued recovery in global demand. Exports surged the most since Feb 1998 by 63.0% y/y to a record level of MYR105.6bn in Apr (Mar: +31.0% to MYR104.9bn), beating our estimate (+59.0%) and Bloomberg consensus (+50.0%). Imports posted the largest gains in nearly 4 years by 24.4% y/y to a new high of MYR85.1bn (Mar: +19.2% to MYR80.8bn). This narrowed the trade surplus to MYR20.5bn (from +MYR24.2bn in Mar).”

“Year-to-date, exports advanced by 27.8% in Jan-Apr 2021, surpassing our 2021 full-year export growth forecast of 15.0% (2020: -1.4%). To reflect the stronger-than-expected export growth in Mar-Apr amid manageable impact of one-month nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO 3.0) from 12 May till 7 Jun on trade activities, we raise our 2021 full-year export growth projection to 22%. The continuation of global recovery, intensified trade diversion and diversification, and global technology upcycle are key drivers of export performance.”