KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia recorded a year-on-year growth of 5.5 per cent in total trade to RM101.7 billion in May, compared with the RM96.433 billion registered in the same month last year, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
He also said in a statement on the preliminary external trade statistics for May, that exports expanded 5.4 per cent to RM55.09 billion, from RM52.28 billion recorded previously.
Imports meanwhile, grew 5.6 per cent to RM46.61 billion compared to the RM44.15 billion previously.
A RM8.49 billion trade surplus was recorded in May, making it the 163rd consecutive month of trade surplus registered, since November 1997.
Compared with April 2011, exports decreased 4.7 per cent, while imports were 0.4 per cent lower with total trade declining 2.8 per cent.
For the cumulative five-month period, total trade increased 8.0 per cent to RM507.24 billion, supported by strong growth in exports of 6.2 per cent to RM279.25 billion, and imports of 10.3 per cent to RM227.99 billion over the same period last year.
Major items that contributed to the significant export increase in May were electrical and electronic products (RM19.08 billion), palm oil (RM5.33 billion), chemicals and chemical products (RM4.03 billion), crude petroleum (RM3.17 billion), liquefied natural gas (RM3.17 billion), refined petroleum products (RM3.12 billion), machinery appliances and parts (RM2.00 billion), manufacturers of metal (RM1.64 billion), optical and scientific equipment (RM1.46 billion) as well as wood products worth RM1.3 billion.
China, Singapore, Japan, the United States and Thailand were the top five export markets, accounting for 49.4 per cent of Malaysia's total exports in May.
Asean member countries accounted for RM13.44 billion or 24.4 per cent of total exports during the month in review.
Meanwhile, among major imports in May were electrical and electronic products worth RM14.11 billion, chemicals and chemical products (RM4.70 billion), refined petroleum products (RM3.62 billion), machinery appliances and parts (RM3.61 billion) and manufacture of metal (RM3.06 billion).
Top importers were China, Singapore, Japan, the United States and Indonesia.
Meanwhile, Asean member countries accounted for RM13.08 billion or 28.1 per cent of total imports in May. - BERNAMA