KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's exports in May plunged 25.5 per cent from a year earlier, its worst performance in more than a decade, amid a global slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, government data showed on Monday (Jun 29).
The contraction was sharper than the 19.9 per cent drop forecast by analysts surveyed by Reuters and the lowest since May 2009 when exports tumbled 29.5 per cent, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. In April, shipments had fallen 23.8 per cent year-on-year.
"The performance was similar in other regional countries, which recorded lower trade growth for May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic that continued to slow economic activities globally," the International Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement.
Imports in May shrank by 30.4 per cent from a year earlier, slowing sharply from the 8 per cent drop recorded in April, data from the ministry showed. Analysts had expected a fall of 19.8 per cent.
Malaysia's trade balance returned to a surplus of 10.4 billion ringgit (US$2.4 billion) in May, rebounding from the 3.5 billion ringgit deficit in April.