Singapore non-oil exports fall 2.3% in June, resuming slide after blip jump in May

Containers at Tanjong Pagar Terminal of PSA International seen in 2014.
Containers at Tanjong Pagar Terminal of PSA International seen in 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) fell 2.3 per cent year on year in June on stubbornly weak global demand, after a 11.6 per cent jump in May, according to figures released on Monday (July 18) by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.

NODX was predicted to slide 3.0 per cent in June from a year earlier, according to the median forecast in a Reuters survey of 11 economists.

The surprise jump in overseas shipments in May was fuelled by gold and pharmaceuticals sales, but that was seen as a blip and was not sustained in June when both electronic and non-electronic shipments fell.

IE Singapore in May cut its forecast for full-year 2016 NODX to between -5.0 and -3.0 per cent, after shipments in the first quarter fell 9 per cent on year in the first quarter of 2016.

On a month on month, seasonally adjusted (SA) basis, June NODX was down 12.9 per cent compared with a 16.8 per cent jump in May. On a SA basis, the level of shipments fell to S$13.0 billion in June from S$14.9 billion in May.

NODX to all of the top 10 NODX markets, except Taiwan, the US, Hong Kong, South Korea and Malaysia, decreased in June. The largest contributors to the year on year NODX decline were Singapore’s largest export market, China (-9.9 per cent), Indonesia (-15.9 per cent) and the EU 28 (-5.8 per cent).

On a year on year basis, electronic NODX contracted by 1.7 per cent in June, following the 6 per cent decline in May. The decrease iwas largely due to PCs (-29.0 per cent), disk drives (-26.9 per cent) and parts of PCs (-8.5 per cent).

Non-electronic shipments decreased by 2.5 per cent in contrast to the 19 per cent rise in the previous month. The decline in was led by petrochemicals (-15.6 per cent), primary chemicals (-30.5 per cent) and electrical machinery (-33.0 per cent).

Said DBS senior economist Irvin Seah: “This is a broad-based decline with sales in electronics and non-electronics falling. In addition, China has remained as a drag on NODX performance. This has been an ongoing phenomenon since mid-last year and it once again underscored the effects of China’s slowdown on Singapore.

“With China’s deceleration being a structural one, the lackluster NODX performance could last for a while."