KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's exports jumped 17.9 per cent in January from a year ago, surging after two months of slower growth, on the back of higher demand for manufactured, mining and agricultural goods, government data showed yesterday.
The growth in exports was above the 11.4 per cent rise forecast by a Reuters poll, and up sharply from the 4.7 per cent in December.
January's exports were driven by higher shipments of manufactured goods, which rose 20.4 per cent from a year earlier, data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed. Most of the goods were electrical and electronics products.
Exports of mining goods rose 8.5 per cent annually on higher prices and volumes of liquefied natural gas, the data showed, while shipments of agricultural goods, particularly palm oil and palm oil-based products, grew 6.2 per cent.
Imports in January rose 11.6 per cent from a year ago, up from the 7.9 per cent growth the previous month.
Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit. The currency was one of Asia's best performers in the past year, strengthening about 12 per cent.
January's trade surplus widened to RM9.7 billion (S$3.3 billion), compared with RM7.3 billion in December.
Exports to China surged 17.9 per cent from a year earlier in January, on higher demand for chemicals, electrical and electronic products. Shipments to the United States were up 8.7 per cent on year, while exports to the European Union rose 13.6 per cent.