SINGAPORE: Singapore’s manufacturing output expanded 6.2 per cent year-on-year in April, higher than the revised 5.1 per cent increase in March, backed by strong demand for semiconductors amid a global chip shortage and jobs from commercial airlines as travel restrictions eased.
Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output in April grew by 7.7 per cent, official data from the Economic Development Board (EDB) showed on Thursday (May 26).
On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output decreased by 2.2 per cent. However, excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 1.8 per cent.
The transport engineering cluster saw the highest growth, with output expanding 17.2 per cent in April compared to a year ago.
The marine and offshore engineering segment rose 27.5 per cent, supported by a higher level of work done in offshore projects. Similarly, the aerospace segment expanded 24.2 per cent with higher production of aircraft parts and more maintenance, repair and overhaul jobs from commercial airlines with the lifting of air travel restrictions globally.
Output for the electronics cluster rose 10.4 per cent in April on a year-on-year basis, supported by growth across all segments except the other electronic modules and components segment.
In particular, the semiconductors segment expanded 12.9 per cent on the back of strong demand from 5G markets and data centres amid the global chip shortage, said EDB.
The general manufacturing cluster rose 10.3 per cent year-on-year in April, with all segments recording an increase in output.
The food, beverage and tobacco segment rose 12.4 per cent with higher output of beverage products, milk products and animal feed.
The miscellaneous industries and printing segments grew 8.3 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively, with the former recording higher production of construction-related products and wearing apparel.
In precision engineering, output expanded 3.5 per cent year-on-year in April. The precision modules and components segment grew 5.4 per cent with higher production of optical products, as well as plastic and metal precision components.
The machinery and systems segment grew 2.9 per cent, on account of higher output of semiconductor foundry equipment and mechanical engineering work, said EDB.
The biomedical manufacturing cluster fell 1.1 per cent in April on a year-on-year basis.
The medical technology segment grew 12.6 per cent with higher demand for medical devices from the US and EU. However, the pharmaceuticals segment saw a fall of 11.3 per cent, on account of a different mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients being produced.
Output in the chemicals cluster also fell in April, posting a 3.4 per cent decline.
The other chemicals, petroleum and specialties segments grew 8.8 per cent, 3.8 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively, with higher production of fragrances, refined petroleum products such as jet fuel and mineral oil additives in the respective segments.
However, the petrochemicals segment contracted 12.5 per cent on account of maintenance shutdowns in some plants and weak demand from the region.