Exports continued to expand in July 2009, increasing RM3.8 billion or 8.4% from June 2009. Imports increased by 14.2% to RM41.1 billion from the month before.
Total trade increased month-on-month by RM8.9 billion or 11% from June 2009. Malaysia also recorded a trade surplus of RM7.8 billion making July 2009 the 141 consecutive month of trade surplus since November 1997.
Year-on-year comparison for the period January to July 2009 showed a marked contraction in total trade, exports and imports. In the first seven months, total trade fell by 23.9% from the corresponding period of 2008. Exports declined by 23.3% to RM299.4 billion while imports shrank 24.7% to RM232.3 billion.
Five export destinations namely Singapore, China. USA, Japan, Thailand collectively contributed 51.7% of Malaysia’s total exports in July 2009. Singapore remained the top export market while China overtook both the USA and Japan to become Malaysia’s second largest export destination since March 2009.
Malaysia’s exports to North-east Asia amounted to RM98.7 billion in the first seven months of 2009. Export to China constituted 34%, followed by Japan 30.4%, Hong Kong 15.5%, Republic of Korea 12.3% and Taiwan 7.7%.
Processed food is one of the fastest-growing export sub-sector in Malaysia, averaging more than 13% growth per year.