Singapore Dec exports post worst fall in 2 yrs

17th January, 2019 11:04:57 printer

SINGAPORE: Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) recorded their worst decline in more than two years in December, with shipments to most of its top markets declining.

Exports fell 8.5 per cent year-on-year in December, deepening from a revised 2.8 per cent decline in November, as shipments of electronics and pharmaceuticals plunged, data from trade agency Enterprise Singapore showed on Thursday, report agencies.

The outcome was well below a 1.5 per cent increase predicted by economists in a Reuters poll and the worst performance since October 2016, when exports declined 14 per cent year-on-year.

"This could show that US-China trade talks have become a ruse, falling in line with disappointing China trade data," Ms Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at OCBC, told Reuters. "There is a likelihood that (export fall) will continue into the first quarter."

Earlier this week, China announced that its December exports unexpectedly fell 4.4 per cent from a year earlier, the biggest monthly drop in two years, pointing to further weakening in the world's second-largest economy.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, Singapore's exports contracted by 5.7 per cent in December, following the previous month's revised 4.3 per cent decline.

Electronic exports slumped by 11.2 per cent year-on-year, after a brief recovery in November when it rose 4.3 per cent.

PCs, disk media products and diodes & transistors contracted by 20.5 per cent, 28.5 per cent and 34.4 per cent respectively, contributing the most to the decline in electronic NODX.

Non-electronic exports declined by 7.4 per cent year-on-year in December, slowing further from a 5.4 per cent decline the previous month.

Specialised machinery (-32.5 per cent), pharmaceuticals (-26.8 per cent) and primary chemicals (-28 per cent) contributed the most to this decline.