Domestic wholesale trade grows 6.6% in first quarter

Domestic wholesale trade expanded by 6.6 per cent in the first quarter over the same period last year, largely due to demand for petroleum and petroleum products.

If petroleum is excluded, this trade dropped 7.7 per cent from a year earlier and was down 6 per cent from the final three months of 2017, according to Statistics Department data yesterday.

After adjusting for price changes, overall domestic wholesale trade rose by 3.2 per cent from a year ago, and 2 per cent from the previous quarter.

Most industries recorded lower domestic sales in the first quarter from the same three months last year. There were double-digit decreases in metals, timber and construction materials (minus 22.1 per cent), transport equipment (minus 14.3 per cent), chemicals and chemical products (minus 12.3 per cent), industrial and construction machinery (minus 10.6 per cent) and other wholesale trade (minus 12.9 per cent) industries.

In contrast, domestic sales of petroleum and petroleum products jumped by 27 per cent in the first quarter, due partly to price increases.

After removing the price effect, the sales increase was 16.8 per cent.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2018, with the headline 'Domestic wholesale trade grows 6.6% in first quarter'. Print Edition | Subscribe