Malaysia's Trade Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic
In April 2020, Malaysia’s trade amounted to RM133.34 billion, a decrease of 16.4% compared to April 2019, due to COVID-19 pandemic which caused major disruptions to global supply chain. Lower trade was recorded particularly with Singapore, Thailand, India, the United States (US), Japan, Viet Nam and Saudi Arabia.
Exports was valued at RM64.92 billion, contracted by 23.8% while imports decreased by 8% to RM68.42 billion. Trade balance recorded a deficit of RM3.5 billion in April 2020, after 269 consecutive months of surplus on account of a higher contraction in exports compared to imports.
Compared to March 2020, trade and exports slipped by 9.9% and 19%, respectively while imports increased by 0.9%.
Malaysia’s trade during the first four months of 2020 dropped by 3.5% to RM573.75 billion compared to the corresponding period of 2019. Lower trade was recorded with Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, India and Viet Nam. Meanwhile, higher trade was registered with the Republic of Korea (ROK), Indonesia and the US. Exports during the period registered a decrease of 5.5% to RM303.61 billion and imports declined marginally by 1.2% to RM270.14 billion. Trade surplus was valued at RM33.47 billion, declined by 29.9% compared to the same period of 2019.
Commenting on the April trade performance, Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade & Industry YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said that the declines in both exports and imports are expected given that most countries around the world were under some form of lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. This has caused major disruptions to the manufacturing activities and movement of goods globally. Nevertheless, exports of some products such as iron and steel, rubber gloves and refined palm oil recorded increases.
"Malaysia's exports are expected to improve in the coming months as the government allowed more industries to resume operations and at full operating capacity since 4 May 2020. Similarly, companies in other countries are also ramping up their business operations. This will boost trade activities between Malaysia and other countries", he added.
Trade Performance : April 2020 and January - April 2020