PUTRAJAYA, Jan 20 – Malaysia is actually a net importer of oil and our economy stands to gain from lower global crude prices, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today. Despite exporting oil extracted off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and also off Sarawak, the volume exported is still less than the amount imported for local consumption, he explained. From January to November last year, Malaysian oil exports amounted to RM7.7 billion while RM8.9 billion was imported.
After setting off both exports and imports, Malaysia spends about RM1.2 billion overall to import oil for local consumption, said Najib. It is only with liquefied natural gas (LNG) that Malaysia is a net exporter, he added. The wrong assumption that Malaysia is a net oil exporter is the main reason why the ringgit’s value has fallen significantly over the last few months, he noted.
Once currency traders realise this fact, Najib is confident the ringgit’s value will rise again to be better reflective of the nation’s underlying economic fundamentals. This would be further supported by the fact that electrical goods and electronics, wood products plus textiles make up about 76% of the nation’s exports while crude oil exports represent only 4.5% of the total, he added.