Singapore non-oil domestic exports surprise on the upside with 0.3% rise in September

Containers at Tanjong Pagar Terminal.
Containers at Tanjong Pagar Terminal. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) in September nudged higher in September, confounding analysts who had expected a third straight month of contraction, figures from International Enterprise (IE) Singapore showed on Friday (Oct 16).

On a year-on-year basis, NODX increased by 0.3 per cent last month, in contrast to the 8.4 per cent slide in August, as a rise in electronic shipments which outweighed the fall in non-electronic NODX.

Analysts had expected NODX to drop 3.8 per cent from a year earlier, according to the median forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Shipments to all of the top 10 NODX markets, except China, the US, South Korea, Taiwan and the EU 28, expanded in September. The top contributors to the NODX growth were Japan, Thailand and Indonesia, IE Singapore said.


On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, exports in September rose 2.8 per cent from August, compared with a 4.6 per cent contraction in August.

Analysts had been downbeat as a survey earlier this month showed activity in Singapore factories shrank in September for the third straight month and fell to the lowest level in nearly three years, .


Singapore's central bank eased monetary policy for the second time this year on Wednesday and warned of downside risks to growth after its economy narrowly avoided a recession in the third quarter.

IE Singapore figures showed electronic NODX grew by 5.7 per cent in September from a year earlier, compared to the 2.7 per cent decline in the previous month. The expansion was largely due to integrated circuits (+14.1 per cent), PCs (+32.5 per cent) and telecommunications equipment (+76.8 per cent).

Non-electronic NODX fell by 1.9 per cent year-on-year in September, following the 10.7 per cent decline in August. The contraction was led by petrochemicals (-19.1 per cent), printed matter (-36.2 per cent) and primary chemicals (-28.6 per cent).