Singapore non-oil exports fall 3.3% in January after brief respite in December

A view of Pasir Panjang Terminal on Jul 24, 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) shrank 3.3 per cent last month (January), reversing a 2.4 per cent growth in December, which was a one-month reprieve from a nine-month long slide in shipments.

Overall, electronic exports fell at a slower pace of 13 per cent on a year on-year basis, than the 21.3 per cent drop in December.

Exports of non-electronics dipped by 0.1 per cent year on year, reversing from growth of 11.5 per cent in December, the figures from Enterprise Singapore on Monday (Feb 17) showed.

ESG said the decline in non-electronic Nodx in January "may partly reflect the seasonal effects of the Chinese New Year holidays" last month.

On a seasonally adjusted and month-on-month basis, Nodx rose 4.6 per cent in January, adding to December's 1 per cent growth.

The biggest drag on year-on-year Nodx in January came a 23.2 per cent fall in non-electronic petrochemical shipments and a 28.3 per cent slump in electrical machinery exports.

For electronics Nodx, shipments of personal computers had the sharpest fall of 32.2 per cent. Exports of telecommunication equipment sank by 25.1 per cent while integrated circuits fell by 20.5 per cent.

Singapore non-oil exports to its top markets mostly fell, with shipments to Hong Kong recording the largest decline of 40.9 per cent, compared with a year ago.

Conversely, shipments to the United States, China, South Korea and Taiwan improved.

Earlier on Monday, ESG cut its forecasts for Nodx and total merchandise trade for 2020 after weighing the likely impact of the coronavirus outbreak on its trading partners and lower oil prices.

Nodx is now expected to come in between -0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent this year, trade agency Enterprise Singapore (ESG) said on Monday (Feb 17), a downgrade of its earlier projection of zero to 2 per cent growth.

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