Malaysia’s April exports surge 20.6% y-o-y

FILE PHOTO: A truck carrying oil palm fruits passes through Felda Sahabat plantation in Lahad Datu in Malaysia’s state of Sabah on Borneo island, February 20, 2013. (Reuters photo)

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s export growth surged again in April, though at a slightly slower pace compared to the previous month, government data showed on Monday.

April’s exports rose 20.6% from a year earlier, the fifth straight month of double-digit growth. The pace was just below the 22.3% growth forecast in a Reuters poll and down from 24.1% in March.

Shipments of manufactured goods, which account for about four-fifths of total exports, grew by 17.3% from a year earlier in April, data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed. Exports of mining goods jumped 51.8% on higher fuel prices and volumes, while shipments of agricultural goods, led by palm oil products, rose 20.9%.

Imports in April rose 24.7% from a year earlier, down from March’s 39.4% growth, the highest annual increase in seven years.

The trade surplus in April widened to 8.8 billion ringgit ($2.06 billion), from March’s 5.4 billion ringgit. Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit (MYR). This year, the currency has strengthened about 5% against the dollar.

Exports to China jumped 50.6% from a year earlier, on higher demand for Malaysia’s commodities, and electrical and electronic goods.

Exports to the United States rose 11% on higher shipments of electrical and electronic goods, while those to the European Union grew 26.5%.

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