Singapore exports drop 6.6% in March, more than expected

Non-oil domestic exports slipped 6.6 per cent in March over a year ago, after rising 8.9 per cent in February, said trade agency IE Singapore on Thursday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Non-oil domestic exports slipped 6.6 per cent in March over a year ago, after rising 8.9 per cent in February, said trade agency IE Singapore on Thursday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Exports from Singapore fell more than expected last month on the back of a broad-based slowdown in shipments.

Non-oil domestic exports slipped 6.6 per cent in March over a year ago, after rising 8.9 per cent in February, said trade agency IE Singapore on Thursday.

Both electronic and non-electronic shipments declined, as did demand from eight of Singapore's top 10 markets.

The fall in electronic exports was mainly due to lower demand for integrated circuits, computer parts and disk drives, while the dip in non-electronic exports was led by pharmaceuticals, aromatic chemicals and specialised machinery, IE Singapore said.

It added that shipments to China and Malaysia rose, but exports to other main markets fell. In particular, exports to Europe, Hong Kong and South Korea dropped by between 26 per cent and 30.9 per cent each.

Overall, exports shrank 8.9 per cent in March over February, on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

Economists had expected a much milder drop in March exports of 0.8 per cent over a year ago and 1.6 per cent over February, according to a poll by Reuters.