Malaysia External Trade - 20 September 2023

Imports and exports fell further in August on weak external demand

Export growth contracted for the sixth straight month in August (-18.6% YoY; Jul: -13.0%), and the weakest since May 2020 as well as lower than expectations (KIBB: -14.6%; consensus: -16.3%)

  • MoM (-1.4%; Jul: -5.8%): exports fell for the second straight month but at a smaller contraction. This aligns with our expectation that exports remain subdued in 3Q23 amid a weak global economy and China’s poor economic recovery.

A broad-based slowdown among key sectors and major export destinations

  • By destination: lower shipments were observed in the top export destinations, led by CN (-20.3%; Jul: 5.8%), followed by SG (-19.3%; Jul: -19.6%), JP (19.3%; Jul: -24.8%), the US (-9.7%; Jul: 2.2%) and EU (-4.6%; Jul: -6.0%). Nevertheless, SG remains the largest export destination, albeit shrinking to 14.6% (Jul: 15.3%) share of total export, followed by CN (12.8%; Jul: 14.4%). Meanwhile, the share of total exports to the US (11.7%; Jul: 11.6%) climbed slightly.