Malaysia's total trade for the first five months of 2014 rose 10.2 percent to 597.22 billion RM (187.55 billion USD) from the same period a year ago, according to the country’s Department of Statistics.

In its statement on July 4, the department said the country's exports for the January-May period rose by 13.5 percent to 319 billion RM while imports expanded by 6.7 percent to 278.21 billion RM, and a trade surplus of 40.79 billion RM was recorded for the period.

The expansion was contributed by higher exports of refined petroleum products, crude petroleum, palm oil, processed food, optical and scientific equipment, manufactures of plastics, machine appliances for specialised industries, E&E products, chemicals and chemical products.

The department said significant expansion in trade was recorded in the reviewed period with all major markets, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the European Union, Japan and the United States.

In May alone, Malaysia's exports expanded by 16.3 percent year-on-year to 64.91 billion RM and imports increased by 11.9 percent to 59.19 billion RM from May 2013, while the trade surplus was 5.72 billion RM (1.8 billion USD). Of the figures, the country’s exports to ASEAN remained strong, growing 14.7 percent to 17.81 billion RM and accounting for 27.4 percent of Malaysia's total exports. Meanwhile, exports to China declined slightly by 0.4% from a year earlier, the department said.-VNA