KUALA LUMPUR– Malaysia’s total trade breached the 1.0 trillion Ringgit mark for the first seven months of 2017 at 1.008 trillion Ringgit (about 237.4 billion US dollars), while expanding by 22.7 per cent from the corresponding period of 2016, said the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

It said trade had breached the RM1 trillion mark two months earlier than the normal trend. (US$1=RM4.33)

“Expansion was supported mainly by trade with ASEAN, China, the United States, the European Union, Japan, India and Taiwan.

“Exports expanded by 22.3 per cent to RM529.68 billion, while imports rose by 23 per cent at RM478.71 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of RM50.97 billion,” it said in a statement.

For the month of July, the ministry said exports maintained the steady growth momentum, recording a value of RM78.62 billion, rising by 30.9 per cent compared with a year ago.

It said exports posted a stronger year-on-year growth than imports for the third straight month and all major export products registered increases.

Electrical and electronic (E and E) led exports to register double-digit growth for the seventh straight month ( 28.3 per cent) or RM6.15 billion, followed by mining goods, which expanded by 27.5 per cent to RM6.71 billion and agriculture goods ( 14.8 per cent) at RM6.42 billion.

MITI said major exports in July 2017 were E and E products valued at RM27.91 billion, petroleum products (RM7.09 billion), chemicals and chemical products (RM5.72 billion), palm oil and palm oil-based agriculture products (RM4.46 billion) and liquefied natural gas (RM3.79 billion).

As for imports in July, it increased by 21.8 per cent to RM70.59 billion and the three main categories of imports by end-use were intermediate goods, valued at RM39.9 billion, capital goods (RM9.18 billion) and consumption goods (RM5.99 billion).

“During the first seven months of 2017, imports were valued at RM478.71 billion, an increase of 23 per cent from the corresponding period of 2016.

“Intermediate goods were valued at RM278.71 billion, increasing by 25.6 per cent, capital goods (RM65.78 billion, up 15.7 per cent) and consumption goods (RM40.35 billion, up 5.1 per cent),” MITI said.