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Malaysia August export growth at 21.5% yoy; above forecast

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia's exports in August grew to 21.5 per cent from a year earlier, beating expectations on the back of manufacturing sector and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, but were slower than the previous month.

The export growth exceeded the 19.2 per cent forecast by a Reuters poll but was down from July's 30.9 per cent growth.

The upward trend of manufactured goods exports continued in August with an expansion of 22.3 per cent year on year. Growth was also driven by increased exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), government data showed on Friday.

Exports of mining goods grew 38.8 per cent, accounting for 8.4 per cent of Malaysia's total exports, the data showed.

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August imports grew 22.6 per cent from a year earlier to RM72.4 billion (S$23.3 billion) , up from the 21.8 per cent growth in July and the 21.0 per cent growth projected in the poll.

The trade surplus in August widened to RM9.9 billion from July's RM8 billion.

Malaysia reports trade data in ringgit. The currency has been one of Asia's best-performing ones this year, strengthening about 6 per cent this year.

Exports to China remained robust, rising 21.2 per cent from a year earlier, while those to the European Union grew 21.6 per cent.

Shipments to the US rose 14.5 per cent.

REUTERS