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Malaysia records highest trade surplus as exports surge in October

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Malaysia posted its largest trade surplus ever in October as exports surged, while imports also rebounded, government data showed on Wednesday.

[KUALA LUMPUR] Malaysia posted its largest trade surplus ever in October as exports surged, while imports also rebounded, government data showed on Wednesday.

Total exports in October jumped 17.7 per cent from a year earlier, beating economists' estimates of a 6.2 per cent rise, amid strong demand from China and higher shipments of manufactured and mining goods. In September, exports had risen 6.7 per cent.

Exports to China, a major trading partner, rebounded strongly in October, rising 33 per cent year-on-year after a drop in the previous month, the International Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement.

Shipments of manufactured goods, which account for 84 per cent of Malaysia's total exports, were also up 19.9 per cent from a year earlier in October, the ministry's data showed. Exports of mining goods rose 29.6 per cent, on higher prices of crude oil and liquefied natural gas.

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Exports of agricultural goods, however, declined 12.3 per cent in October, hit by falling prices of palm oil and palm oil-based products. Imports in October rose 11.4 per cent year-on-year, rebounding strongly from a 2.7 per cent decline in September. Increases were seen in two categories of imports - intermediate goods and consumption goods, the data showed.

The trade surplus in October jumped to RM16.3 billion (S$5.36 billion), the largest trade surplus ever recorded, from RM15.3 billion in September, the ministry said.

REUTERS