Singapore non-oil exports grow at slower 5.9% pace in September

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) grew at a slower pace in September, mainly driven by electronic goods from a low base last year, according to data from Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on Friday (Oct 16).

September’s 5.9 per cent year-on-year rise in shipments was lower than the 7.7 per cent expansion recorded in August. It also missed the 11.5 per cent rise forecast by economists in a Bloomberg poll.

Nodx has now risen in seven out of the nine months of this year, compared with only one month of gain last year.

The Government in August raised Singapore’s 2020 trade forecasts, predicting Nodx to grow by 3 per cent to 5 per cent year on year, compared with an earlier forecast for a 1 per cent to 4 per cent fall.

Electronic Nodx grew 21.4 per cent in September after a 5.7 per cent increase the previous month.

Integrated circuits, disk media products and parts of PCs grew by 30.1 per cent, 15.2 per cent and 22.7 per cent, contributing the most to the growth in electronic shipments.

Meanwhile, non-electronic Nodx rose by 1.8 per cent in September, following the 8.3 per cent growth the previous month. Non-monetary gold (+53.4 per cent), specialised machinery (+34.2 per cent) and food preparations (+30.7 per cent) contributed the most to the growth in non-electronic Nodx.

Month on month and seasonally adjusted, Nodx in September shrunk 11.3 per cent, after a 10.5 per cent expansion the previous month, as the decline in non-electronic domestic exports outweighed the growth in electronic shipments.

Shipments reached $13.8 billion in September, down from $15.6 billion the previous month, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

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Nodx to Singapore’s top markets as a whole grew in September, though exports to Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand and South Korea declined. The largest contributors to the Nodx growth were the European Union’s 27 member states (+60.5 per cent), Malaysia (+28.8 per cent) and the United States (+3.7 per cent).   

ESG data showed non-oil re-exports rose by 5.1 per cent year in September, after a flat performance in August, as the growth in electronic re-exports outweighed the decline in non-electronics.

Total trade shrank 1.9 per cent year on year in September, an improvement from the 7.8 per cent fall the previous month. Total exports decreased by 2.1 per cent, after August’s 4.8 per cent decline. Total imports fell 1.6 per cent, following the 11 per cent slide in the previous month. 

Total trade has taken a hit from the slump in oil trade, which fell 25 per cent amid lower oil prices from a year ago, following a 42 per cent plunge in August. 

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