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Malaysia's October exports suffer sharpest drop in 18 months
December 7, 2016 / 4:03 AM / a year ago

Malaysia's October exports suffer sharpest drop in 18 months

* Oct exports -8.6 pct y/y vs Reuters poll -5.8 pct
    * Oct imports -6.6 pct y/y vs poll f'cast -0.2 pct
    * Trade surplus 9.8 bln rgt vs poll f'cast of 8.1 bln rgt
    * Exports to China +3.4 pct y/y, U.S. -3.5 pct, EU -12.0 pct

    KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Malaysia's exports in October fell 8.6
percent from a year earlier, the biggest drop since April 2015, government data
showed on Wednesday.
    The government said the drop was "due to the high-base effect of October
2015".     
    A Reuters poll had forecast a 5.8 percent decline for the month's shipments.
 
    October is the second straight month exports fell on an annual basis. In
September, they declined 3.0 percent.
    Annual exports of manufactured goods fell by 6.7 percent in October, data
from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed. 
    Shipments of mining goods declined 34.8 percent, due to lower exports of
liquefied natural gas and crude oil.
    In Malaysia, trade figures are reported in ringgit. The ministry said
exports in October amounted to 69.2 billion ringgit ($15.61 billion), the
highest recorded in 2016.
    Malaysia's imports in October fell 6.6 percent from a year earlier, a sharp
drop from September's 0.1 percent decline. 
    The trade surplus in October widened to 9.6 billion ringgit  ($2.17
billion), from 7.6 billion ringgit the previous month.
    Exports to the United States fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier, while
those to Europe declined 12 percent.
    However, annual exports to China increased 3.4 percent, thanks to higher
shipments of electrical and electronic products. 
    
    For a graphic on Malaysia's exports and imports, click: link.reuters.com/xyb28s
    
    KEY DATA   
    (Exports and imports in percent, trade in billions of ringgit)      
    
               Oct     Sept     Aug     July    June    May     Apr     Mar
   Exports     69.2    68.0     67.6    59.9    66.5   59.92   61.35   66.59
                                                                       
    y/y%       -8.6    -3.0     1.5     -5.3    3.4     -0.9    1.6     0.2
   Imports     59.4    60.5     59.1    57.9    60.9   56.66   52.29   55.39
                                                                       
    y/y%       -6.6    -0.1     4.9     -4.8    8.3     3.1     -2.3    -5.5
   Balance     9.76    7.56     8.51    1.91    5.52    3.26    9.06    11.2
                                                                       
 
    MAIN EXPORTS
                          Oct 2016       % of      % change  
                                                       
                           (bln rgt)    total    vs year ago 
                                                       
 Electrical &               26.6         38.4        1.2
 Electronic Products                             
 Palm oil & Palm-based       4.6         6.7         3.7
 products                                        
                                                 
 Liquefied natural gas       2.7         3.9        -40.2
 Chemicals and               5.0         7.3         -4.7
 products                                        
 Crude oil                   1.8         2.5        -27.9
                                                 
 Petroleum products          5.0         7.3         -7.4
 Machinery                   2.9         4.2        -19.8
 Rubber products             n/a         n/a         n/a
 Metal                       2.5         3.6        -43.8
 
  EXPORT MARKETS                    
                  (bln rgt)     % of total    % yr/yr
                                            
 China               9.5          13.7          3.4
 Singapore           9.7          14.0         -7.5
 Japan               4.9           7.1         -29.1
 USA                 7.0          10.2         -3.5
 Thailand            3.8           5.4         -8.9
 
($1 = 4.4330 ringgit)

 (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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