KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's exports tumbled 23.8 per cent in April from a year earlier, the steepest fall in a decade, as the COVID-19 pandemic badly disrupted the global supply chain, the government said on Thursday (Jun 4).
The fall to RM64.92 billion (US$15.21 billion) was much wider than a 15.1 per cent contraction forecast by analysts surveyed by Reuters.
Imports shrank by 8 per cent to RM68.42 billion, data from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) showed. Analysts had expected a fall of 14.4 per cent.
"Malaysia's exports are expected to improve in the coming months as the government allowed more industries to resume operations and at full operating capacity since May 4, 2020," MITI minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said in a statement.
The country swung to a trade deficit of RM3.5 billion in April after 269 straight months of surplus, the government said.