SINGAPORE - Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) shrank by a worse-than-expected 7.2 per cent in December from a year ago, the second straight month of contraction, after shipments to China fell more sharply.
As with November's unexpected 3.4 per cent decline in NODX, much of the blame lay on the contraction in shipments to China, which was Singapore's largest export market in 2014.
Economists polled by Reuters were expecting December NODX to fall 5.1 per cent from a year earlier.
Shipments to all of Singapore's top 10 NODX markets, except the US, Japan and Hong Kong, contracted in December. Apart from China, they fell most sharply for South Korea and Taiwan.
On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted (SA) basis, NODX declined by 3.1 per cent last month, after November's 3.8 per cent decrease, due to the contraction in non-electronic exports which outweighed the flat growth in electronic shipments.
On an SA basis, the level of NODX reached S$12.5 billion in December, lower than the S$12.9 billion registered in the previous month.
NODX to China tumbled by 18.7 per cent in December, following the previous month's decrease of 9.1 per cent, led by petrochemicals (-34.6 per cent), primary chemicals (-59.6 per cent) and civil engineering equipment parts (-84.9 per cent).
NODX to South Korea contracted compared to the 0.5 per cent growth in November, due to specialised machinery (-71.4 per cent), PCs (-54.6 per cent) and medical apparatus (-94.7 per cent). NODX to Taiwan fell 17.1 per cent, after the 3.7 per cent contraction in the preceding month, due to ICs (-40.8 per cent), measuring instruments (-57.2 per cent) and petrochemicals (-27.7 per cent).
On the upside, December shipments to the US rose 12.8 per cent, 14.7 per cent for Japan and 6.3 per cent for Hong Kong.