Singapore’s key exports drop for seventh month amid electronics slump

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Singapore‘s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) suffered a decline for the seventh consecutive month, with a 9.8% drop in April compared to the same month last year. This is according to data from Enterprise Singapore, which also revealed an 8.3% contraction in March. The decline in April was worse than the 9.4% drop predicted by a Reuters poll.

The slump in exports was led by a 23.3% fall in electronic shipments, following a 22.3% decline in March. Integrated circuits, personal computers, and disk media products contributed the most to the decline, falling by 21.1%, 50.3%, and 41.6% respectively.

Non-electronic exports also experienced a dip, with a 5.8% decrease following a 4.7% decline in March. The most significant declines were seen in primary chemicals, petrochemicals, and food preparations, which fell by 57.7%, 32.8%, and 27% respectively.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, NODX rose 2.7% in April, following an 18.4% growth in March. This exceeded analysts’ predictions of a 3% decline.

OCBC economist Selena Ling commented on the weak trade momentum. She said…

“The anticipated recovery for electronics in the second half of 2023 still looks elusive. In fact, the deep year-on-year contraction in integrated circuits, PCs, disk media et cetera, implies that demand conditions may still be searching for a trough. Even the pharmaceutical export surge is insufficient to offset the electronics slump.”

In April, NODX to Singapore’s top 10 markets declined overall, although exports to the US, the EU 27, and South Korea experienced growth. Exports to China fell 20.9% due to lower shipments of petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and integrated circuits, while exports to Malaysia declined 35% following drops in shipments of integrated circuits, primary chemicals, and specialised machinery.

Year-on-year, total trade declined by 18.8%, following an 8.6% decrease in March. Both exports and imports fell by 18.1% and 19.5% respectively, reported Channel News Asia.

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Alex Morgan

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