Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Malaysia's exports plunge 24.2% in September to US$13.8b

Malaysia's exports plunge 24.2% in September to US$13.8b
Posted: 04 November 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's exports, the mainstay of the economy, slumped 24.2 per cent in September from a year ago, according to official data released on Wednesday.

The trade ministry said in a statement that exports fell to 47.24 billion ringgit (13.8 billion dollars) year-on-year while imports fell 20.2 per cent to 37.97 billion ringgit, producing a trade surplus of 9.27 billion ringgit.

The latest data showed the pace of exports contraction has worsened after easing slightly last month. In August, Malaysian exports fell 19.8 per cent, compared with 22.9 per cent in July.

According to the ministry, total trade from January to September was worth 702.78 billion ringgit, a decrease of 23.2 per cent from a year earlier.

"The decline in exports in September 2009 was attributed mainly to the decrease in exports of crude petroleum, electrical and electronic products, iron and steel products, jewellery as well as textiles and clothing," it said.

Electrical and electronic items account for one-third of Malaysia's total exports to key markets like Singapore, China, Japan, Hong Kong and the United States.

Prime Minister Najib Razak has said the economy will shrink by 3.0 per cent this year, but that it could bounce back and post modest growth of 2.0-3.0 per cent in 2010.

In its 2010 budget unveiled two weeks ago, the government slashed spending in a move to rein in a fiscal deficit swollen by stimulus measures aimed at pushing the economy out of recession.

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