Malaysia's exports in November 2012 rose 3.3% to RM58.67bil from a year ago, boosted by manufactured goods, as the exports data beat economists' expectations of a 2.3% increase.
The Statistics Department said on Wednesday China was the largest export market, accounting for RM7.73bil.
It also said Malaysia imports increased at a faster pace of 4.3% to RM49.39bil.
"Total trade expanded by 3.7% from November 2011 to RM108.06bil. The increase in total trade was contributed mainly by higher trade with Asean which increased by RM2.06bil; China up RM1.79bil and India up RM1.6bil," it said.
On the exports data, the department said manufactured goods totalled RM39.36bil or 67.1%.
"Exports of manufactured goods increased by 5.2% compared with November 2011, due mainly to higher exports of transport equipment, optical and scientific equipment (parts and accessories of optical instrument for inspecting semiconductor devices) as well as electrical and electronic (E&E) products (electronic integrated circuits)," it said.
Refined petroleum products exports rose 32.8%, contributing to the increase in exports of mining goods by 2.2% to RM11.72bil.
As for imports, there was a 4.3% increase to RM49.39bil on-year.
Malaysia imported RM28.11bil of intermediate goods, which represented 56.9% or RM28.11bil of total imports. This was a decline of 7.2%.
"The decrease in imports of intermediate goods was due to lower imports of crude petroleum and electronic integrated circuits," it said.
However, there was a 23% increase in imports of capital goods, which totalled RM9.18bil or 18.6% of total imports.
Imports of consumption goods rose 4.8% on year to RM3.94bil or 8% of total imports.