Malaysia’s exports up 19% but businesses concerned rising Ringgit will affect sales this year
Malaysia’s exports rose almost 19 per cent in 2017 compared to a year earlier, the fastest pace of expansion since 2005.
For the ninth consecutive year, China was again Malaysia’s main trading partner. Last year, Malaysia’s exports to China rose by almost a third while imports jumped 15 per cent.
Of concern to exporters is the pace at which the Ringgit is appreciating, especially against the US Dollar. Furniture exporters have voiced concern saying their competitiveness will inevitably be undermined by the stronger ringgit.
Analysts write that few of Malaysia’s furniture exporters use hedging to minimise currency fluctuation risks. In addition to the impact of a strong local currency, manufacturers are facing rising production cost as wages rise.