Singapore's exports increase, but slower than July

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Singapore increased the amount of products it exported last month, but only by a modest figure.

Official data released this week has shown that exports from Singapore increased by five per cent last month when compared to the same period a year ago.

The figures related to non-oil domestic exports (NODX) and were published by Enterprise Singapore. Although this represented considerably slower growth than the 11 per cent seen in July 2018, the growth was still higher than Bloomberg's prediction of 3.9 per cent.

When examined in further detail, the data showed that electronic exports decreased by 1.5 per cent, suggesting continuing signs of weakness in this sector. The decline was mainly attributed to falls in exports of diodes and transistors that are required for computers and integrated circuits.

Analyst RHB said the figures could indicate that the contraction in the electrical and electronic sector "may have bottomed out", adding that it expects real export growth to moderate to 3.6 per cent this year due to "the withdrawal of demand from the smartphone super-cycle".

There may also be a lift from increased production of radio frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF-SOI) chips, the firm noted.

Meanwhile, non-electronic NODX from Singapore grew by 7.8 per cent last month, mostly supported by growth in pharmaceuticals of 33.4 per cent.

There was also an increase in food preparations and measuring instruments shipments.

ING chief economist and head of research for Asia-Pacific Robert Carnell said it could be of concern that a "rather narrow" set of economic components is doing well, since growth could soften again if they are overtaken by new developments.

Overall, the data showed that domestic exports to Singapore's top ten markets grew thanks to increases in the amount of products going to Europe, Indonesia and the US.

However, economic analysts have expressed fears that exports for the rest of the year may now be affected by the increased trade tensions between China and the US that could have an impact on the rest of the world.