KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 (Bernama) -- Total exports of chemicals and chemicalproducts amounted to RM11.3 billion in 2003, an increase of 21.6 percentover 2002, while exports in January 2004 stood at RM1.2 billion, Ministerof International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said.
She said that major export markets for chemicals and chemical products in2003 were China, (RM1.8 billion), Singapore (RM1.5 billion) and Japan(RM1.4 billion).
Total imports of chemicals and chemical products increased by 3.5 percentto RM13 billion in 2003, Rafidah said at the ministry's 2004 dialoguesession with associations, here Monday.
The chemical industry comprises chemicals and chemical products,petrochemicals and pharmaceutical sub-sectors.
Rafidah said that in 2003 all sub-sectors of the industry registeredincreases in the Industrial Production Index (IPI).
Industrial chemicals (basic chemicals, synthethic resin, fertilizers andpesticides) recorded a 14 percent increase to RM247.7 million, industrialgases increased by 15.8 percent to RM222.8 million, pharmaceutical (drugsand medicines) increased by 14.4 percent to RM139.7 million, petroleumproducts increased by 5.1 percent to RM159.6 million and plastics productsincreased by 30.6 percent to RM490.6 million.
Total investments approved for the chemical and chemical products sector(including pharmaceutical sector) in 2003 increased by 13 percent toRM837.7 million compared with RM740 million in 2002.
These investments involved new and expansion projects.
Among major projects undertaken are oil palm products utilising oil palmbiomass and by-products (RM134 million), animal feed, organic fertilizer(RM109.9 million), production of energy (heat and steam, for use in glove,oil mill and textile factories) (RM49.5 million) and biotechnology (RM29.7million).
Rafidah said that domestic investments accounted for 65 percent (RM540.4million) of total approved investments.
In plastics products, total investments approved increased by 64 percentto RM877.1 million compared with RM536.2 million in 2002.
Exports of the products increased by 20.8 percent to RM9.4 billion in 2003over 2002. In January 2004, exports amounted to RM888 million.
"Major export markets for plastics products were Singapore (RM11.4billion), China (RM1.2 billion), Hong Kong (RM1.1 billion) and Japan (RM1billion)," she said.
Exports of pharmaceutical products in 2003 increased by 7.3 percent toRM274.8 million compared with 2002, with major export destinations beingSingapore (RM79.1 million), Brunei (RM41.4 million) and Hong Kong (RM21.4million).
Malaysia was currently the third largest liquefied natural gas (LNG)exporter in the world, accounting for 13 percent of the world's exports,after Indonesia and Algeria.
Exports of LNG in 2003 were valued at RM15.1 billion compared with RM11.4billion in 2002, which were mainly to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.