Malaysia's July Exports Unexpectedly Rise 3.1% Year-on-year, Beats Forecast​

A trailer is seen near containers at a Westports container facility in Pulau Indah outside Kuala Lumpur October 17, 2013. REUTERS/Samsul Said

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's exports rose for the second straight month in July, expanding 3.1% from a year earlier on higher shipments of manufactured goods and agricultural commodities, particularly palm oil, government data showed on Friday. 

The expansion beat a 1.2% drop forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll, though it was slower than the 8.8% jump recorded in June.

Imports in July shrank by 8.7% from a year earlier, faster than the 5.6% decline recorded in the prior month, data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed. Analysts had expected a fall of 5.5%.

Malaysia's trade surplus widened to a historical high of 25.15 billion ringgit ($6.03 billion) last month, beating the previous record of 20.9 billion ringgit in June.