Singapore non-oil exports rebound in June, beating forecasts with 8.2% rise

The PSA Brani container terminal.
The PSA Brani container terminal. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) bounced back in June, topping expectations with an 8.2 per cent increase from the year earlier, with a strong rise in non-electronic shipments offsetting a smaller increase in electronic sales.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg had expected NODX to rise 5.1 per cent in June from the same month a year ago. Exports in May edged up just 0.4 per cent in May, revised up from an earlier estimate of a 1.2 per cent decline, and dipped 0.3 per cent in April, after expanding for six straight months.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, NODX declined by 2.7 per cent in June, after the previous month's 9.4 per cent increase, as the decline in electronic shipments outweighed the increase in non-electronic sales, data from trade agency International Enterprise (IE) Singapore showed on Monday (July 17). Some S$14.5 billion exports were recorded in June, lower than the S$14.9 billion in May.

Exports of electronics cooled in June, expanding by 5.4 per cent year-on-year compared to the 28.9 per cent surge in May. Data last Friday showed that Singapore narrowly avoided a technical recession, growing at 0.4 per cent in the second quarter from the quarter before, saved by solid global demand for its tech products.

Some analysts have been expecting the electronics rally - shipments have risen now for eight straight months - to lose steam, saying the current electronics cycle may be coming to an end with the rolling out of the next wave of smartphones likely in the second half of this year.

Electronic exports in June were led by ICs, disk media products and capacitors which increased by 20.7 per cent, 2.9 per cent and 10.5 per cent respectively.

Exports of non-electronics grew by 9.3 per cent year-on-year, in contrast to the 8.6 per cent drop in the previous month. Economists have been concerned that the pick-up in Singapore's economic growth has thus far been driven limited to certain segments of the economy - mainly, electronics manufacturing.

 

Exports in non-electronics were lead by non-monetary gold, specialised machinery and petrochemicals, which increased by 148 per cent, 76.1 per cent and 13.7 per cent respectively.

In terms of export markets, the top contributors to the NODX increase were China (+48.9 per cent), South Korea (+56.9 per cent) and Japan (+26.7 per cent) - outweighing the declines to the US, Taiwan, the EU 28, Thailand and Indonesia.