SINGAPORE - Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) surged 15.2 per cent year-on-year in the January-March quarter of this year, extending the 2.7 per cent increase in the previous quarter, on increased shipments of both electronic and non-electronic products.
The Government has slightly raised its forecast for NODX to expand by 4 to 6 per cent this year, up from its previous projection of 5-5.5 per cent, International Enterprise (IE) Singapore said on Thursday (May 25) as it released the latest trade figures.
"The global economic and trade outlook has improved since early 2017, notwithstanding uncertainties surrounding near-term economic and policy developments," said IE Singapore, adding that global trade momentum has strengthened since the fourth quarter of 2016.
An unexpected slump in the volatile pharmaceutical segment saw NODX slipping 0.7 per cent year-on-year in April but economists generally remained optimistic that last month's numbers were a temporary blip in an ongoing recovery.
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Shipments to all top markets rose in the first quarter over the year, except the flat -0.4 per cent posted for the European Union,. The biggest contributors to the NODX increase were China (+48.6 per cent), Taiwan (+52.7 per cent) and South Korea (+36.8 per cent).
On a year-on-year basis, exports of electronic products (comprising 28 per cent of NODX) increased by 9 per cent in, compared to the 1 per cent growth in the previous quarter. ICs, parts of PCs and disk media products expanded by 21.5 per cent, 21.6 per cent and 10.3 per cent respectively, contributing the most to the increase in this segment.
Exports of non-electronic products (comprising 72 per cent of NODX) rose by 17.8 per cent over the year, following the 3.5 per cent growth in the fourth quarter of 2016. The largest contributors to the rise in shipments of specialised machinery (+92.6 per cent), petrochemicals (+41.9 per cent) and non-monetary gold (+28.9 per cent).