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%.