November 4, 2019 / 4:11 AM / 15 days ago

Malaysia's Sept exports drop 6.8% y/y, biggest fall in 3 years

    * Sept exports -6.8% y/y vs -0.1% forecast in Reuters poll
    * Sept imports +2.4% y/y vs poll forecast 1.1%
    * Sept trade surplus 8.3 bln rgt vs poll forecast 14.4 bln rgt
    * Exports to China -3% y/y; Exports to U.S. +6.6%

    KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Malaysian exports in September recorded
their biggest decline in nearly three years amid subdued demand from major trade
partners, government data showed on Monday.
    Exports shrank 6.8% in September from a year earlier, widening from the 0.8%
drop posted in the previous month.
    September's export numbers came in far lower than analysts' forecast for a
marginal drop of 0.1%. The month's figures were the worst export performance
since October 2016, when shipments fell 8.5% on-year.
    Exports to China, one of Malaysia's biggest trade partners, fell 3% on lower
demand for electrical and electronic goods, chemical and petroleum products, and
liquefied natural gas, data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry
showed.  
    Exports to Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Japan also declined in September,
but shipments to the United States were up 6.6%. 
    Shipments of manufactured goods, which contributed about 85.4% of
September's total exports, contracted by 5.8% from a year earlier, while exports
of mining goods declined 15.2%. 
    Shipments of palm oil, a major export commodity for Malaysia, dropped 9.3%
year-on-year, the data showed. 
    Malaysia's imports in September jumped 2.4% from a year earlier, recovering
after three straight months of decline. In August, imports had plunged 12.5%.
    Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit.
    The trade surplus in September narrowed to 8.3 billion ringgit ($2 billion)
from 10.9 billion ringgit in the previous month.
    
    KEY DATA
    (Exports and imports in percent, trade in billions of ringgit)
               Sept    Aug     July    June    May   April  March   Feb    Jan
   Exports     77.7    81.3    88.0    76.2   84.2   85.2   84.0   66.6   82.8
                                                                          
     y/y%      -6.8    -0.8    +1.7    -3.1   +2.5   +1.1   -0.5   -5.3    3.1
   Imports     69.4    70.4    73.7    65.9   75.1   74.4   69.7   55.5   73.9
                                                                          
     y/y%      +2.4   -12.5    -5.9    -9.2   +1.4   +4.4   -0.1   -9.4    1.0
   Balance      8.3    10.9    14.3    10.3    9.1   10.9   14.4   11.1   11.5
                                                                          
 
    MAIN EXPORTS
                         Sept 2019     % of      % change  
                                                     
                         (bln rgt)    total    vs year ago 
                                                     
 Electrical &              29.0        37.4       -12.2
 Electronic Products                           
 Petroleum products         5.3        6.9        -13.4
 Chemicals and              4.3        5.6        -11.5
 chemicals products                            
                                               
 Optical and                3.6        4.6         12.8
 scientific equipment                          
 Palm oil & Palm-based      3.4        4.4         -9.4
 agricultural products                         
 Manufactures of metal      3.3        4.3         4.8
                                               
 Machinery                  3.3        4.2         6.9
 Liquefied natural gas      3.3        4.2         -1.8
                                               
 Rubber products            2.1        2.7         -2.4
 Transport Equipment        2.0        2.6         46.9
    
  EXPORT MARKETS                    
                  Sept 2019       % of      % change       
                  (bln rgt)      total       vs year ago    
                                                    
 China               10.8         14.0            -6.8
 Singapore           10.7         13.8           -11.7
 USA                 8.2          10.6            6.6
 Japan               5.4           7.0            -1.7
 Hong Kong           5.0           6.5           -26.5
 
($1 = 4.1550 ringgit)

 (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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