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Singapore raises trade forecasts with 'better-than-expected' first quarter

Singapore raises trade forecasts with 'better-than-expected' first quarter

File photo of the Pasir Panjang Terminal (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Singapore raised its full-year trade forecasts on Wednesday (May 25) amid "better-than-expected" performance in the first quarter of 2022.

Besides the first quarter showing, higher expected oil prices to support oil trade, and in turn total trade, pushed up the forecasts, said Enterprise Singapore (ESG) in its review.

Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) are projected to grow 3 per cent to 5 per cent, while the total merchandise trade forecast has been adjusted upwards, to 8 per cent to 10 per cent.

ESG data also showed that NODX grew by 11.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 on a year-on-year basis, following the 20.1 per cent rise in the previous quarter. The growth was mainly due to non-electronics such as structures of ships and boats, specialised machinery and pharmaceuticals.

The electronics cluster also grew for a eighth straight quarter, said ESG. Domestic exports of electronic products were up by 12.3 per cent, mainly due to integrated circuits, disk media products and capacitors.

NODX to the top markets as a whole grew in the first quarter of the year, though exports to Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand declined. The biggest contributors to the NODX growth were the US, the EU and China.

Singapore's economy grew by 3.7 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022, down from the 6.1 per cent growth in the previous quarter.

In its review, ESG also said that total merchandise trade grew by 20.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, down from the 28.8 per cent growth in the preceding quarter.

Non-oil trade rose by 16.0 per cent while oil trade expanded by 48.2 per cent amid higher oil prices than a year ago.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, total merchandise trade rose by 5.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2022, after the previous quarter’s 9.3 per cent growth. Oil and non-oil trade rose by 5.0 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively.

ESG said: "Externally, there remained uncertainties due to COVID-19, continued global supply chain disruptions and a faster-than-expected tightening of monetary policy by advanced economies.

"Upside risks related to energy prices amid geopolitical tensions could also exacerbate inflationary pressures, weighing on global economic growth and trade."

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday maintained the country’s GDP growth forecast for the year at 3 to 5 per cent.

Source: CNA/ic(gr)

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