14:43 | 11/03/2015 Global Economy
Malaysian exports fell 0.6 percent to 63.6 billion RM (17.2 billion USD) in January 2015 from a year earlier, a sharp contrast to the economists’ forecasted 2.5 percent increase, according to the country’s Department of Statistics.
The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur (Photo: Getty Images)
It said the fall was due to the decrease in exports to China, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea, primarily in refined petroleum products, palm oil and palm-based products, and natural rubber.
Malaysian imports in the first month of this year fell 5.3 percent to 54.6 billion RM due to plunging fuel prices and affected fuel, lubricants, and industrial supplies.
The ASEAN was Malaysia's major import source, accounting for 25.1 percent of total imports, followed by China (20 percent), Japan (7.8 percent) and the US (7.7 percent).
Statistics also revealed the trade surplus in January reached 9 billion RM, up 41.8 percent from the same period last year.
Malaysian exports are expected to grow 3.2 percent in 2015, according to economist predictions.