Malaysia's chemical exports up 10% in Feb, total shipments up 15%

10 April 2012 10:17  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Malaysia’s exports of chemicals rose by 10% year on year to ringgit (M$) 4.08bn ($1.3m) in February this year, tracking a double-digit growth in overall overseas shipments, official data showed on Tuesday.

The country’s exports of palm oil rose by 7.9% year on year to M$4.50bn in February, while exports of crude petroleum increased by 48% to M$3.53bn, the Department of Statistics said in its preliminary monthly trade report.

Malaysia’s overall exports rose by 15% year on year to M$56.9bn in February, while imports rose by 18% to M$46.3bn, the statistics department said. This resulted in a trade surplus of M$10.6bn.

“Increased manufacturing activities in ASEAN, steady growth in production output in China and improved momentum in economic recovery in the US were among the factors which contributed to the increase in Malaysia’s exports in February,” the agency said.

 Malaysia’s total exports to ASEAN countries rose by 24% year on year to M$15.2bn in February, partly buoyed by bigger shipments of refined petroleum products and palm oil, it said.

Its exports to China rose by 18% year on year to M$7.07bn, partly boosted by more shipments of rubber and chemical products, the department said.

The uncertainty in the eurozone continued to affect demand from the region, with exports to the EU up marginally by 1.6% year on year to M$5.29bn, partly because of increased exports of palm oil and rubber products, it said.

On a year-on-year basis, exports to the US registered a double-digit growth of 15% to M$4.68bn, the department said.

For January-February 2012, Malaysia’s total exports rose by 7.1% year on year to M$111.9bn, while imports rose by 10% to M$92.6bn, resulting in a trade surplus of M$19.3bn, according to the data.

The country’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry projects a 5-6% growth in exports this year, in tandem with the expectation that world economic growth will be slower in 2012.

Malaysia’s exports rose by 8.7% year on year to M$694.6bn in 2011.

“Global trade will moderate in the first half of the year, but is expected to pick up momentum in the second half of 2012,” the report said.

($1 = M$3.07)

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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