SINGAPORE: Singapore's industrial production rose for a second consecutive month in September, led by a sharp increase in biomedical output and demand for pharmaceuticals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manufacturing output rose 24.2 per cent in September from the same period last year, extending August's revised 15.4 per cent rebound, according to the Economic Development Board (EDB) on Monday (Oct 26). Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 8.5 per cent.
This is the second consecutive month that Singapore's factory production has expanded, following three months of decline.
On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output increased 10.1 per cent last month. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, production fell 1.6 per cent, said EDB in the media release.
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OUTPUT GREW FOR BIOMEDICAL, ELECTRONICS, CHEMICALS CLUSTERS
Output expanded in the biomedical, electronics and chemicals clusters, but contracted in the precision engineering, general manufacturing and transport engineering, according to EDB.
In the biomedical manufacturing cluster, production jumped 89.8 per cent in September from the same period last year, compared with the 12.2 per cent increase in August. This was boosted by a 113.6 per cent spike in pharmaceutical output, on the back of higher production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products.
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The electronics cluster expanded 30.1 per cent last month, slowing from a 45.3 per cent rise in August. Within the cluster, the semiconductors segment grew 37.4 per cent, supported by demand from cloud services, data centres and the 5G market, said EDB.
As for the chemicals cluster, it inched up 0.4 per cent year-on-year in September after August's 3.3 per cent rise. The specialties segment grew 25.2 per cent on the back of higher output in industrial gases and additives, however, the petroleum segments contracted 25.7 per cent due to plant maintenance shutdowns.
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Among the clusters that contracted, output in transport engineering declined the most by 35.8 per cent year-on-year in September.
The land segment grew 35.1 per cent, but this was offset by declines in the marine and offshore engineering and aerospace segments, which have been affected by a weak global oil and gas market and COVID-19 travel restrictions respectively, said EDB.
Output also declined 1.5 per cent in the precision engineering cluster, while production in the general manufacturing industries cluster contracted 8 per cent amid weaker demand for construction-related products and print jobs.