Singapore's manufacturing output declines 0.5 per cent in March

Singapore's manufacturing output declines 0.5 per cent in March

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output decreased 5.5 per cent from a year ago, the EDB says.

File photo of a manufacturing facility in Singapore. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Manufacturing output in the Republic fell 0.5 per cent year-on-year in March, dragged down by a decline in the transport engineering cluster, the Economic Development Board (EDB) said on Tuesday (Apr 26).

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 5.5 per cent from a year ago, the EDB said. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output fell 1.0 per cent. It also declined 1.0 per cent when biomedical manufacturing was excluded.

MARINE, OFFSHORE ENGINEERING WEAKEST PERFORMING SEGMENT

The transport engineering cluster was the weakest performing, with output falling 23.1 per cent year-on-year in March. The marine and offshore engineering segment, in particular, fell 35.0 per cent on account of lower level of rig-building activity and weaker demand for oilfield and gasfield equipment amid the low oil price environment, according to the EDB.

The first three months of 2016 saw a decline in output from the transport engineering cluster, at 20.5 per cent lower than the same period last year.

The precision engineering cluster's output also decreased 7.7 per cent year-on-year, with the precision modules and components segment contracting 12.8 per cent due to lower production of industrial rubber, metal precision components and wire and cable products. The machinery and systems segment fell 4.6 per cent, on account of lower export demand for back-end semiconductor and industrial process control equipment.

On a year-to-date basis, output of the precision engineering cluster declined 8.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The chemicals cluster also experienced a fall in March. Output decreased 4.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis. Within the cluster, the other chemicals segment posted growth of 9.8 per cent, on account of higher production of fragrances.

However, this was offset by contractions in the specialties (-1.2%), petroleum (-10.3%) and petrochemicals (-18.4%) segments, with the latter affected by plant maintenance shutdowns.

In the first three months of this year, output of the chemicals cluster fell 2.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2015, the EDB said.

BIOMEDICAL CLUSTER EXPANDS MOST IN OUTPUT

The biomedical manufacturing cluster’s output expanded the most, at 23.1 per cent in March compared to the same period a year ago. The pharmaceuticals segment of this cluster increased 27.9 per cent on the back of a different mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients produced, while the medical technology segment’s output grew 9.4 per cent with higher export of medical devices.

On a year-to-date basis, the biomedical manufacturing cluster increased 19.4 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

Output of the electronics cluster increased 5.8 per cent in March compared to the same month last year. The semiconductors segment’s output grew 21.7 per cent but this was partially offset by declines in the rest of the electronic segments, the EDB said. Cumulatively, output of the electronics cluster grew 3.0 per cent from January to March this year, compared to the same period last year.

The general manufacturing industries cluster’s output registered an increase of 0.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis. The food, beverages & tobacco segment recorded a growth of 10 per cent. However, the miscellaneous industries and printing segments declined 4.3 per cent and 11.1 per cent respectively. Decline in the miscellaneous industries segment was mainly due to lower production of steel structural component and metal doors, window, grilles and gratings, the EDB said.

On a year-to-date basis, output of the general manufacturing cluster fell 1.5 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.

Source: CNA/xk