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Singapore raises trade forecasts as non-oil exports grow 10.1% in second quarter of 2021

SINGAPORE: Singapore raised its trade forecasts on Wednesday (Aug 11) amid better than expected growth in the second quarter of 2021.

This is due to favourable sector-specific growth in areas such as electronics, petrochemicals and specialised machinery, as well as higher than expected oil prices, said Enterprise Singapore (ESG) in its review.

Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) could grow by 7 per cent to 8 per cent, an upgrade from the 1 per cent to 3 per cent forecast issued in May. 

ESG also increased its projection of total merchandise trade - adjusting it upwards to 13 per cent to 14 per cent year-on-year, higher than the previous 5 per cent to 7 per cent.

ESG data also showed that NODX grew by 10.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2021 on a year-on-year basis, following the 9.7 per cent rise in the previous quarter. The growth was mainly due to non-electronics such as specialised machinery, petrochemicals and primary chemicals.

The electronics cluster also grew for a fifth straight quarter, said ESG. Domestic exports of electronic products were up by 15.7 per cent, mainly due to personal computers, integrated circuits, and diodes and transistors.

NODX to the top markets as a whole grew in the second quarter of this year, though exports to the United States, Japan and the EU 27 declined. The biggest contributors to the NODX growth were China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

In its review, ESG also said that total merchandise trade grew by 27.3 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, up from the 4.9 per cent growth in the preceding quarter.

Non-oil trade rose by 18.9 per cent while oil trade expanded by 98.4 per cent amid higher oil prices than a year ago, a turnaround from previous declines.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, total merchandise trade rose by 3.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, after the previous quarter’s 14.7 per cent growth. Oil and non-oil trade rose by 15.1 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday upgraded the country’s GDP growth forecast for the year to 6 to 7 per cent, up from 4 to 6 per cent.

This is based on the "better than expected" performance of the Singapore economy in the first half of the year, as well as the latest external and domestic economic developments, said the ministry.

Singapore's economy grew by 14.7 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2021, faster than the 1.5 per cent growth in the previous quarter.

Source: CNA/zl(ac)

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