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Singapore's exports rise at slower pace of 4.2% in February

Singapore's exports rise at slower pace of 4.2% in February

A tugboat pulls a container vessel out of a port in Singapore on Aug 17, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) grew at a slower pace of 4.2 per cent in February from a year ago, after hitting a seven-month high of more than 12 per cent in January.

Growth was headlined by non-electronic NODX, which rose by 3.3 per cent last month, according to official data released by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on Wednesday (Mar 17).

A 167.5 per cent rise in non-monetary gold NODX was the main driver, after such exports plummeted 72.2 per cent in February 2020.

Specialised machinery NODX rose 35.6 per cent in line with "robust global semiconductor demand" while petrochemicals NODX rose 19.3 per cent, also contributing to last month's non-electronic NODX growth, said ESG.

(Chart: ESG)

Electronic NODX grew 7.4 per cent from a year ago, driven by exports of personal computers rising 98.3 per cent, telecommunications equipment rising 78.6 per cent and diodes and transistors rising 39.1 per cent.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, Singapore's NODX rose 8.2 per cent last month to reach S$16.7 billion, following January's 6.9 per cent increase.

READ: Singapore imports and exports fell last year but growth for 2021 projected

RE-EXPORTS GROW

Non-oil re-exports (NORX) also grew at a slower pace of 2.2 per cent last month, compared to an 8.8 per cent increase in January.

NORX growth was driven by shipments of electronics, mainly integrated circuits, telecommunications equipment and parts of personal computers.

This outweighed a decline in shipments of non-electronics including aircraft parts, non-electric engines and motors and piston engines.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, NORX rose 4.7 per cent last month to reach S$26.5 billion, extending January's 4.9 per cent increase.

(Chart: ESG)

Non-oil retained imports of intermediate goods (NORI) grew by S$1.2 billion to hit S$6.7 billion in February, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Oil domestic exports fell 28 per cent in February from a year ago, driven by lower exports to the European Union, Hong Kong and Malaysia. There was a 29.6 per cent contraction in terms of volume.

However, on a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, oil domestic exports grew 6.4 per cent in February.

TOTAL TRADE FALLS FURTHER

Total trade fell 3.3 per cent in February on a year-on-year basis, deepening the 1.9 per cent decline in January. Total exports fell 2 per cent from a year ago, while total imports fell 4.6 per cent.

However, on a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, total trade last month grew 6 per cent to reach S$91.8 billion.

Total exports and imports both grew from January levels, rising by 6.3 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively.

(Chart: ESG)

TRADE BY KEY MARKETS

NODX to the top markets as a whole declined in February from a year ago.

Exports to the EU saw the biggest decrease at 34.7 per cent, due to pharmaceuticals, capacitors and miscellaneous manufactured articles. NODX to Japan, the United States, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia also declined.

However, exports to China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong expanded, led by a 29.6 per cent growth in NODX to South Korea.

NODX to emerging markets expanded by 45.7 per cent in February, mainly driven by a 229.3 per cent increase in exports to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Singapore's NORX to most of the top markets grew last month, with China, Hong Kong and Indonesia the main contributors. Re-exports to South Korea, the US, Vietnam and Taiwan declined.

Source: CNA/dv(rw)

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