KUALA LUMPUR, February 21 – Malaysia is off to a strong start in its foreign trade, posting another stable trade balance in January, its sixth consecutive month of positive trade growth.
The Public Investment Bank Bhd (PIBB), in a research note, said favorable trading conditions pushed January’s surplus to jump 10.9% year-on-year (year-on-year) to 18.4 billion. RM, which could have been much higher without the stronger growth. in imports.
He said Malaysia’s exports rose for the 17th consecutive time in the month under review, thanks to comprehensive economic openings around the world, a favorable condition consistent with improving global conditions.
January 2021 imports jumped 26.4% year-on-year to RM92.3 billion, the third highest in the past 12 months, driven by capital (+37.7%), consumption (32. 0%) and consumer goods (28.3%). rapid economic recovery of the country.
“The trade surplus is expected to remain encouraging in the near term, supported by full economic openings in Asean, China and Advanced Economies (EA), a stable global economic outlook, a lagged impact from global expansionary strategies in 2021 and a sustained recovery of the global economy raw materials, in particular oil and crude palm oil (CPO).
“This could, however, be mitigated by an expected recovery in imports following full economic openings in ASEAN and massive government relief measures that could support a rebound in consumption and imports of capital goods,” he shared.
The GDPB pointed out that Malaysia’s steady export momentum was in line with regional trends which benefited from comprehensive economic openings in Asean and AE and increased Covid-19 fiscal spending apart from the surge. global commodity prices, especially mining and agriculture.
The jump in ASEAN exports in January was again led by Indonesia (+25.3%), four months in a row by the republic, followed by Malaysia (+23.5%), Singapore ( +17.6%) and Vietnam (+1.6 percent).
The research house said that excluding Thailand and the Philippines, this marks four consecutive months of large-scale expansion for Asean, thanks to the region recovering well from Covid-19.
However, he noted that the region’s trade figures in January and February could be affected by the celebration of the lunar year (late January), suggesting a normalization of the trade figure from March.
“ASEAN exports are expected to remain stable in the near term, boosted by a favorable global outlook that will boost demand for manufactured goods and natural resources.
“This will be further bolstered by continued mining momentum like crude oil and natural gas, as well as agriculture like CPO and natural rubber, driven by rising unit prices, while demand for electricity and electricity Electronics (E&E) will also rise from the global cycle of semiconductors and hybrid arrangements for work and learning,” he said.
GDPB, however, said ASEAN exports could be held back by the base disadvantage after its recovery last year.
He said Asean exports are still sensitive to the risks of a resurgence of Covid-19 which could lead to pockets of containment measures, potentially disrupting business activities.
“A strict foreign labor policy, supply disruptions and international borders that may remain closed are seen as further impediments to the full recovery of ASEAN exports. Shortages of raw materials such as chips that could lengthen delivery times for companies remain one of the main concerns in 2022,” he added. — Bernama