SINGAPORE: Singapore’s factory output saw an uptick in September after an 8 per cent decline the previous month, recording a 0.1 per cent increase year-on-year.
Output in August fell after the electronics and precision engineering sectors contracted as a result of trade tensions between the United States and China.
On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output increased 3.7 per cent, data from the Economic Development Board showed on Friday (Oct 25). Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 4.3 per cent year-on-year.
The electronics cluster continued its decline, falling 9.6 per cent year-on-year in September. The data storage and infocomms and consumer electronics segment grew 16.1 per cent and 15 per cent respecitvely, but the rest of the segments recorded a contraction in output.
General manufacturing output also fell, with all segments contracting. The food, beverages and tobacco segment output saw the biggest decrease of 10.9 per cent, on account of lower output of milk powder and beverage products.
Output from the chemicals cluster went down by 3.9 per cent, despite recording growth of 6.9 per cent and 3 per cent in the petrochemicals and petroleum segments respectively following maintenance shutdowns in the previous month.
In contrast, the other chemicals segments declined by 4.6 per cent and specialties segments by 11.7 per cent, with the latter producing less due to maintenance shutdowns.
Meanwhile, the biomedical manufacturing, precision engineering and transport engineering clusters all registered year-on-year growth.
Biomedical manufacturing rose 21.9 per cent year-on-year, buoyed by a 26.2 per cent growth in the pharmaceutical segment with higher production of active pharmaceutical ingredients. The medical technology segment also contributed, recording a 10.8 per cent growth due to higher export demand for medical devices.
Precision engineering output expanded 4 per cent in September, following a 13.6 per cent fall the month before. The machinery and systems segment grew 11.9 per cent, owing to a higher output of industrial process control and front-end semiconductor equipment.
However, the precision modules and components segment dropped by 6.5 per cent on the back of lower production of optical and wire and cable products.
The transport industry output increased 3 per cent. The aerospace and land transport surged 39 per cent and 18 per cent respectively, as the former registered more repair and maintenance jobs from commercial airlines.
On the other hand, the marine and offshore engineering segment fell 27.3 per cent on account of lower levels of offshore and shipbuilding and repairing activities.