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Malaysia August exports down 4.5 pct, near 3-year low

* August exports fell 4.5 pct y/y, against forecast of -2.5 pct

* Imports rise 2.8 pct on year, below 8.2 pct forecast

* Exports to EU down 24.2 pct on yr; up 4.2 pct to United States

* Exports to China down 10.6 pct on yr; up 15.4 pct to Japan

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Malaysia's August 2012 trade data released by the Trade Ministry on Friday:

KEY DATA

(Exports and imports in percent, trade in billions of ringgit)

August July June May April March February January December

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55.97 58.12 60.97 58.8 57.7 61.8 56.9 55.07 60.7 Exports y/y % -4.5 -1.9 5.4 6.7 -0.1 -0.1 14.5 0.4 6.1 48.88 54.5 51.8 54.2 50.2 51.3 46.3 46.3 52.4 Imports y/y % 2.8 9.5 3.6 16.2 7.4 1.6 18.0 3.3 10.4

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7.1 3.6 9.2 4.6 7.5 10.5 10.6 8.75 8.3 Balance MAIN EXPORTS August 2012 % of % change (bln rgt) total vs year ago Electrical & Electronic Products 19.1 34.2 -5.2 Palm oil 4.4 7.8 -27.2 Liquefied natural gas 5.3 9.4 34.7 Chemicals and products 3.7 6.6 -12.2 Crude oil 2.0 3.6 -28.8 Refined petroleum products 3.5 6.2 38.1 Machinery 2.0 3.5 0.6 Manufactures of metal 1.5 2.7 -12.4 EXPORT MARKETS (bln rgt) % of total % yr/yr China 7.5 13.4 -10.6 Singapore 7.6 13.6 7.3 Japan 7.1 12.6 15.4 USA 5.2 9.3 4.2 Thailand 2.7 4.8 -27.6 NOTES

*Reuters poll: Malaysia's August exports seen lower for second month

(Reporting by Anuradha Raghu; Editing by Siva Sithraputhran)

((anuradha.raghu@thomsonreuters.com)(+603 2333 8040)(Reuters Messaging:)(anuradha.raghu.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net))

Keywords: MALAYSIA ECONOMY/TRADE