Singapore non-oil exports expand for third straight month with slightly slower growth of 8.5% in July

July's NODX growth came in below a median forecast of 9.1 per cent made by analysts polled by Bloomberg.
July's NODX growth came in below a median forecast of 9.1 per cent made by analysts polled by Bloomberg.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) in July rose 8.5 per cent from a year earlier, slower than a revised 8.8 per cent growth in June, and driven by continuing strength in electronics.

July's NODX growth came in below a median forecast of 9.1 per cent made by analysts polled by Bloomberg. NODX rose by 8.8 per cent in June, revised up from an earlier estimate of 8.2 per cent, and 0.4 per cent in May.

Year on year, exports of electronic products - which comprised 28.8 per cent of NODX in the first half of 2017 - increased by 16.3 per cent in July, about triple the 5.4 per cent growth in the previous month, according to data from International Enterprise (IE) Singapore on Thursday (Aug 17).

Exports of non-electronic products - which comprised a hefty 71.2 per cent of NODX in the first half-year - rose by 5.2 per cent, about half the 10.1 per cent growth enjoyed in June.

NODX to the majority of Singapore's top 10 markets expanded in July, except the European Union and the US. The largest contributors to the NODX increase were China (+20.9 per cent), Thailand (+55.3 per cent) and South Korea (+45.3 per cent).

On a month-on-month and seasonally adjusted basis, NODX shrank 2.5 per cent in July, after falling a revised 2.2 per cent in June. In actual value terms, NODX reached S$14.2 billion in July, lower than the S$14.6 billion in the previous month.

Singapore and other Asian economies that are highly dependent on trade have gained a big boost this year from an improvement in global demand, particularly for electronics products and components such as semiconductors.

Singapore's trade-reliant economy grew 2.9 per cent in the second quarter, faster than initially estimated, according to data released last week, with a rebound in services suggesting a broader and more balanced recovery after a stumble early in 2017.

NODX grew 2.7 per cent in the second quarter, coming off the 15.3 per cent expansion in the previous quarter, with increased shipments of electronic products offsetting the decrease in non-electronics.

Notwithstanding the slowdown in export growth, the Government has narrowed upwards its growth projections for full-year NODX to 5-6 per cent from 4-6 per cent previously.