SINGAPORE: Singapore’s total merchandise trade rose by 9.2 per cent last year to reach S$1.1 trillion, according to official data released on Friday (Feb 15).
The figure eclipses the S$967 billion the previous year and S$870 billion in 2016, trade agency Enterprise Singapore said.
Exports expanded by 7.9 per cent last year, while imports grew 10.6 per cent.
Oil trade rose by 16.8 per cent amid higher oil prices, although the pace eased from the 36 per cent expansion in 2017, the trade agency said. Non-oil trade grew by 7.3 per cent in 2018, after a 6.4 per cent rise the year before.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, total trade rose by 9.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis, down from the 14.7 per cent expansion in the previous quarter.
Oil trade grew by 12.8 per cent in the fourth quarter, after the previous quarter’s expansion of 28.2 per cent. Non-oil trade rose by 8.3 per cent, compared to the previous quarter’s 11.7 per cent increase.
GROWTH OF NON-OIL EXPORTS SLOWS
Non-oil exports (NOX), which include both domestic exports and re-exports, grew by 6.5 per cent last year, following a 6.8 per cent increase in 2017.
In the fourth quarter alone, NOX expanded by 6.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis, compared to 10.3 per cent in the previous quarter.
Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) rose by 4.2 per cent in 2018, down from an 8.8 per cent growth in 2017, with higher exports of non-electronic shipments outweighing the decline in electronics.
But in the fourth quarter, NODX declined by 1.1 per cent, compared to the previous quarter’s 8 per cent growth. This was due to a decrease in both electronic and non-electronic shipments, Enterprise Singapore said.
The trade agency also said Singapore’s total services trade slowed from an 11.7 per cent expansion in 2017 to 2.3 per cent in 2018, reaching S$500.4 billion.
It maintained its growth projection for this year at between zero and 2 per cent for both total merchandise trade and NODX.