Singapore non-oil export growth rises to 12.3% in September, higher than expected

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) expanded at a faster pace last month from August, helped by growth in both electronics and non-electronics shipments.

Nodx rose by 12.3 per cent last month, rising for a 10th consecutive month, following a 2.7 per cent increase in August, said Enterprise Singapore (ESG) on Monday (Oct 18). The August expansion was the slowest since November last year.

The pace of annual growth was faster than the 8.4 per cent forecast by economists in a Bloomberg poll.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, Nodx increased by 1.2 per cent last month, after August’s 3.5 per cent decrease, ESG data showed.

Shipment of electronic products expanded 14.4 per cent on an annual basis, extending a 16.7 per cent gain in August.

Within the sector, export of integrated circuits (ICs) rose by 7 per cent, while personal computers and telecommunications equipment jumped by 45.4 per cent each. The three segments contributed the most to the growth in September electronic Nodx.

ESG said electronics exports continued to grow, driven primarily by ICs amid robust global semiconductor demand.

Shipment of non-electronic products grew by an annual 11.7 per cent last month, after a 1.4 percent decline in August.

The non-electronic exports were led by petrochemicals, which rose 52.8 per cent, specialised machinery (34.9 per cent) and pharmaceuticals (27.3 per cent).

Nodx to the top markets as a whole rose last month, though exports to the European Union, Malaysia and Thailand declined.

The largest contributor to the rise in Nodx was China, followed by the United States and South Korea.

Total trade expanded by 18.7 per cent last month, extending the 19.8 per cent growth in August. Total exports rose by 18.7 per cent, while total imports were also up 18.7 per cent.

These latest statistics come after Singapore reported its third quarter economic growth data last week.

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 6.5 per cent on a year-on-year basis in the July-September period, moderating from 15.2 per cent growth in the previous quarter, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Oct 14.

However, on a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, MTI data showed the economy expanded by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of this year, a reversal from the 1.4 per cent contraction in the preceding quarter.

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The quarterly gain is a sign that, sequentially, the economy is on track for above-trend growth in the quarters ahead, analysts said.

In August, ESG raised its trade forecast, for the third time this year, to a range of 7 per cent to 8 per cent year on year in 2021, up from the projection of 1 per cent to 3 per cent issued in May.

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