Malaysia's exports in February rose 9.8% from a year earlier, surpassing expectations, government data showed on Monday.

February's exports had been forecast to grow 4.5%, according to the median estimate by 13 economists polled by Reuters.

Imports in February rose 12.4% from a year earlier, data from the International Trade and Industry Ministry showed. Analysts had expected a 6.8% annual increase.

Malaysia recorded a trade surplus of 19.56 billion ringgit ($4.37 billion) in February. ($1 = 4.4720 ringgit) (Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)