ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Singapore Sept exports up
SINGAPORE’S exports unexpectedly rose in September as sales of electronics products expanded, but reduced shipments to major markets such as the United States and China indicated sluggish global demand was limiting growth.
Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) edged up 0.3 per cent in September from a year earlier, trade agency International Enterprise Singapore said in a statement on Friday.
That compared with a 3.8 per cent contraction forecast in a Reuters poll. In August, non-oil domestic exports slumped 8.4 per cent on year reflecting a steep decline in sales to China and Europe.
Singapore’s non-oil exports tend to be volatile because a significant portion comprises pharmaceuticals and oil rigs that can vary sharply from month to month.
Exports on the month advanced 2.8 per cent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to a 0.8 per cent rise predicted in the survey and a 4.6 per cent fall in August. Domestic exports of electronics grew 5.7 per cent in September from a year earlier after falling 2.7 per cent in the previous month. Overseas sales of telecommunications equipment jumped 76.8 per cent in September.
“It’s encouraging that we are seeing some pickup in electronics exports,” said Selena Ling, an economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.
“Now NODX is coming in a little higher than the market expected, so maybe this is a turnaround story, but we’ll wait and see.”
Singapore’s electronics sector has been underperforming neighbours such as South Korea and Taiwan due to fierce competition and Singapore’s lack of popular high-tech products such as smartphones. Despite September’s rebound in overall exports, analysts doubted if the city-state could maintain such momentum, given the sluggish global economy.
Non-oil domestic exports to China - Singapore’s largest export market - slumped 12.9 per cent in September from a year earlier, more than a 8.2 per cent slide in August.
Sales to the United States fell 9.3 per cent in September after growing 8.8 per cent in August. Shipments to Europe eased 2.1 per cent after a 9.0 per cent contraction. Singapore’s central bank eased monetary policy for the second time this year on Wednesday and warned of risks to growth after its economy narrowly avoided a recession in the third quarter.
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