KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysia's January exports rose for a third consecutive month, surging by its fastest pace in more than a year due to strong demand for commodities and manufactured goods, government data showed on Friday (March 3).
Exports in January expanded 13.6 per cent from a year earlier, the biggest gain since October 2015, but just missing the 15 per cent increase forecast by a Reuters poll. In December, exports rose 10.7 per cent.
Data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed exports of mining goods increased 18.8 per cent on stronger demand for crude oil and liquefied natural gas.
Exports of manufactured goods rose 12.2 per cent and accounted for 80.8 per cent of Malaysia's total, the data showed.
Imports in January increased 16.1 per cent from a year earlier, picking up from December's 11.5 per cent rise.
The trade surplus in January narrowed to RM4.7 billion (S$1.49 billion), from RM8.7 billion the previous month.
Exports to China jumped 31.6 per cent, due to higher demand for electrical and electronic products and palm oil-based goods.
Shipments to the United States rose 5.6 per cent from a year earlier in January, while those to Europe climbed 12.1 per cent.