Singapore July non-oil domestic exports dip 0.8% but exceeds forecasts

Tanjong Pagar terminal.
Tanjong Pagar terminal. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) in July shrank 0.8 per cent from the same month a year ago, as a drop in non-electronic shipments, particularly of ships and boats, outweighed the rise in electronic exports.

But the figure released by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore on Monday (Aug 17) was better than the 2.1 per cent decine in a median forecast of 10 economists in a Reuters poll. The July NODX drop comes after a 4.5 per cent year-on-year rise in June.

On a year-on-year basis, NODX to all of the top 10 NODX markets, except Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand, declined in July. The top contributors to the decline were Japan, Taiwan and China.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, July NODX rose 2.4 per cent from June, compared to the that month's 2.7 per cent contraction, due to the increase in both electronic and non-electronic NODX. The level of NODX reached $13.9 billion in July 2015, higher than the $13.6 billion registered in June.

The trade promotion agency last week downgraded its NODX growth forecast for 2015 to just 1-2 per cent. It also reported that NODX grew 2.1 per cent year-on-year in the April-June quarter, much lower than the 4.8 per cent growth in the first quarter.

Slowdowns in China and other countries, and the global slump in oil and commodities, have been impacting Singapore's economy. China devalued the yuan on Tuesday as pressures mounted on policymakers in Beijing to revive the world's second-largest economy.

On a year-on-year basis, electronic NODX rose by 2.3 per cent in July, following the 7.6 per cent increase in the previous month. The growth in electronic domestic exports was largely due to PCs (+74.3 per cent), telecommunications equipment (+86.6 per cent) and diodes & transistors (+21.7 per cent).

Non-electronic NODX decreased by 2.1 per cent in July 2015, compared to the 3.3 per cent expansion in the previous month. The contraction was led by structures of ships & boats (-98.3 per cent), printed matter (-51.8 per cent) and primary chemicals (-22.1 per cent).