Malaysia's trade in March this year rose by 4.6 percent to 120.46 billion RM (more than 37 billion USD) from the same month last year, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

The ministry said exports in March expanded by 8.4 percent year-on-year to 65.03 billion RM and imports increased by 0.5 percent to 55.43 billion RM from March 2013.

Trade surplus surged by 96.8 percent to 9.59 billion RM in March 2014.
The major exports were electrical and electronic products, refined petroleum products, palm oil, electrical and electronic products, optical and scientific equipment as well as chemicals and chemical products.

MITI said that exports to ASEAN countries expanded by 10.9 percent to 18.47 billion RM, accounting for 28.4 percent of Malaysia's total exports in March 2014.

Meanwhile, the country's exports to the European Union (EU) rose by 14.1 percent, contributed mainly by increases in exports to the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Between January and March, Malaysia's trade was valued at 349.44 billion RM, an increase of 8.3 percent from the corresponding period in 2013.

Exports rose by 10.9 percent to 187.91 billion RM while imports expanded by 5.5 percent to 161.53 billion RM, resulting in a trade surplus of 26.39 billion RM, MITI said.

Significant expansion in trade was recorded in the first three months of the year with China (up 8.7 percent), ASEAN (up 4.0 percent), Japan (up 6.0 percent), the European Union (up 4.3 percent) and the United States (up 5.1 percent).

Other countries which registered expansion in trade with Malaysia were Australia (up 29.8 percent), the Republic of Korea (9.7 percent) and the United Arab Emirates (18.3 percent).

Earlier in March, Malaysia's central bank (Bank Negara Malaysia) forecast the country’s economy to grow at a more conservative 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent this year.-VNA