KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in October 2017 surged by 19.8% to RM154.26 billion compared with the corresponding month of last year, said the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) in a statement today.
It said the main contributors to the growth was trade with Asean, China, the United States, Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region), Japan, the European Union (EU) and Taiwan.
"During the period, exports rose significantly by 18.9% to RM82.41 billion, exceeding the RM80 billion mark for the third time in 2017, while imports rose by 20.9% to RM71.85 billion.
"The trade surplus widened to RM10.56 billion, the highest value since April 2016, making it the 240th consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997," it said.
Meanwhile, on a month-on-month basis, total trade, exports and imports expanded by 4.3%, 5.3% and 3.2% respectively.
Miti said total trade for the first ten months of 2017 amounted to RM1.46 trillion, a 21.5% growth compared with the same period in 2016, with exports totalling RM772.66 billion, an increase of 21.1% and imports at RM692.51 billion, a 21.9% growth.
The trade surplus was recorded at RM80.15 billion, higher by 14.4% compared to the corresponding period a year ago.
Exports of manufactured goods in October 2017 increased by 19.5% or RM11.11 billion to RM68.07 billion, accounting for 82.6% of Malaysia's total exports.
The expansion was mainly on account of higher exports of electrical and electronic (E&E) products and petroleum products, collectively contributing 54.8% to total manufactured exports.
MITI said the export of mining goods grew by 27.3% to RM6.7 billion, constituting 8.1% of Malaysia's total exports. It was mainly driven by increased exports of crude petroleum on the back of higher average unit value and volume.
Exports of agricultural goods increased by 6.3% from October 2016 to RM6.98 billion, accounting for 8.5% of total exports.
Exports of palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products which grew by 7.9% to RM4.98 billion was the main contributor to the expansion.
Meanwhile, MITI said trade with ASEAN grew by 22.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM43.28 billion in October 2017, accounting for 28.1% of Malaysia's total trade.
It said exports recorded double-digit growth of 19.5% to RM23.9 billion, mainly due to the strong export performance of E&E products which increased by RM1.4 billion, followed by crude petroleum, transport equipment, chemicals and chemical products, optical and scientific equipment.