Malaysia's exports in May have increased by 5.4% to RM55.09bil from RM52.28bil recorded in the same period last year, while imports grew by 5.6% to RM46.61bil.
In a statement yesterday, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia recorded a year-on-year growth of 5.5% in total trade to RM101.7bil in May compared with RM96.433bil registered last year.
“A trade surplus of RM8.49bil was recorded, making it the 163rd consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997,” he said.
The increase in exports in May of RM2.81bil from a year ago was largely contributed by higher exports of palm oil, chemicals and chemical products, crude rubber as well as processed food.
China, Singapore, Japan, the United States and Thailand were the top five export destinations, accounting for 49.4% of Malaysia's total exports in May.
Exports to Asean was valued at RM13.44bil or 24.4% of total exports in May.
He said the total imports in May increased by 5.6% to RM46.61bil from May 2010 due mainly to higher imports of intermediate and consumption goods.
Among the major imports in May were electrical and electronic products worth RM14.11bil, chemicals and chemical products at RM4.7bil, refined petroleum products worth RM3.62bil, machinery appliances and parts at RM3.61bil and manufacture of metal worth RM3.06bil.
The top 10 import sources were China, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Germany, South Korea and France.
Mustapa said total imports from Asean amounted to RM13.08bil or 28.1% of total imports in May.
On a month-on-month basis, exports in May were lower by 4.7%, while imports decreased by 0.4% and total trade declined by 2.8%.
The decline in exports in May was mainly due to lower exports of liquefied natural gas and refined petroleum products.
“Total trade during the period of January to May increased by 8% to RM507.24bil compared with that of the corresponding period last year. This was contributed by exports of RM279bil and imports of RM227.99bil,” he said, adding that exports registered an increase of 6.2% while imports expanded by 10.3% against a year earlier, resulting in a trade surplus of RM51.26bil.