Malaysia's April exports surge 20.6%, slightly below forecast

Shipping containers are stacked at North Point in Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Shipping containers are stacked at North Point in Port Klang, Selangor, Malaysia. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Malaysia's export growth surged again in April, though at a slightly slower pace compared to the previous month, government data showed on Monday (June 5).

April's exports rose 20.6 per cent from a year earlier, the fifth straight month of double-digit growth. The pace was just below the 22.3 per cent growth forecast in a Reuters poll and down from 24.1 per cent in March.

Shipments of manufactured goods, which account for about four-fifths of total exports, grew by 17.3 per cent from a year earlier in April, data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed.

Exports of mining goods jumped 51.8 per cent on higher fuel prices and volumes, while shipments of agricultural goods, led by palm oil products, rose 20.9 per cent.

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Imports in April rose 24.7 per cent from a year earlier, down from March's 39.4 per cent growth, the highest annual increase in seven years.

The trade surplus in April widened to RM8.8 billion (S$2.85 billion), from March's RM5.4 billion.

Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit. This year, the currency has strengthened about 5 per cent against the dollar.

Exports to China jumped 50.6 per cent from a year earlier, on higher demand for Malaysia's commodities, and electrical and electronic goods.

Exports to the United States rose 11 per cent on higher shipments of electrical and electronic goods, while those to the European Union grew 26.5 per cent.