Singapore's manufacturing output up 1.2% in October

The improved performance year-on-year came as the electronics cluster's output jumped 24.6 per cent.
The improved performance year-on-year came as the electronics cluster's output jumped 24.6 per cent. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's manufacturing output grew 1.2 per cent in October this year, compared with the same period last year, according to data released by the Economic Development Board of Singapore on Friday.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, however, output fell 1.4 per cent.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output contracted 0.1 per cent in October. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 1.9 per cent.

The improved performance year-on-year came as the electronics cluster's output jumped 24.6 per cent, supported largely by the semiconductors segment, which recorded an output growth of 41.7 per cent.

The biomedical manufacturing cluster rose 11.3 per cent, with the pharmaceuticals segment expanding 12.4 per cent, mainly due to a different mix of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products produced. The medical technology segment also grew 8.2 per cent with higher export demand for medical instruments.

But the transport engineering cluster continued to be the worst-performing, shrinking 26.9 per cent last month. A 46.9 per cent slump in the marine and offshore engineering segment was not enough to offset better performances in the land transport and aerospace segments, which rose 18.1 per cent and 9.7 per cent respectively.

"The marine and offshore engineering segment continued to be plagued by the low oil price environment, which affected rig building activities and demand for oilfield & gasfield equipment," said the EDB.

The precision engineering cluster increased just 2.7 per cent. The machinery and systems segment put on 7.3 per cent on the back of higher export demand in semiconductor related equipment. But this was partially offset by the precision modules and components segment, which contracted 4.6 per cent due to lower output of industrial rubber and optical instruments.

The chemicals cluster dipped 0.7 per cent, mainly due to the petrochemicals segment, which declined 13.9 per cent as output was affected by plant maintenance shutdown. The rest of the chemicals segment expanded, with the specialties, other chemicals and petroleum segments recording gains of 0.8 per cent, 14 per cent and 14.9 per cent respectively.

The general manufacturing industries cluster fell 22.2 per cent with all segment posting weaker performances. The miscellaneous industries segment fell 12 per cent on account of lower production of fibreglass products, metal doors, windows, grilles and gratings and construction related materials. The printing and food segment fell 19.8 per cent, affected by weak demand for commercial printing, while the beverages and tobacco segment slumped 31.5 per cent as it was negatively impacted by some plant maintenance shutdowns.