Malaysia's exports plunge 15.9 percent in February

By AFP

July 15, 2010 Updated Apr 3, 2009 at 2:01 AM CDT

Malaysia's February exports dropped 15.9 percent year-on-year, according to official data released Friday.

The trade ministry said in a statement that exports fell to 39.59 billion ringgit (11 billion dollars) from a year ago while imports plunged 27.3 percent year-on-year in February.

The total trade was worth 67.2 billion ringgit, a decrease of 21 percent from a year ago, but Malaysia did manage to record a trade surplus of 11.97 billion ringgit for the month.

In January, Malaysian exports slumped 27.8 percent, hitting their lowest level since 2001 amid falling demand from key trading partners, compared with 14.9 percent in December.

The ministry said the increase in February's exports figure compared to January was attributed to higher exports in electrical and electronic products, refined petroleum products, machinery, appliances and parts as well as chemicals and chemical products.

Electrical and electronic products account for one-third of Malaysia's total exports to key markets in China, Japan, Europe and the United States.

Malaysia recently said that its economy could contract by 1.0 percent in 2009 despite a massive 16.2 billion dollar stimulus package, dumping its earlier target of 3.5 percent growth.

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