Singapore exports fall again in Nov; 14.6% drop is more than expected

SINGAPORE’S non-oil domestic exports (NODX) contracted by 14.6 per cent on the year in November from a high year-ago base, going by Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) data on Friday (Dec 16). The month’s decline far outstripped the median 6.5 per cent decline forecast by private-sector economists in a Bloomberg poll.

Both electronic and non-electronic exports fell. The latest prints marked the second consecutive month of decline, after October’s 6.1 per cent fall, which was the first since November 2020.

On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, NODX decreased by 9.2 per cent in November, extending the 4.2 per cent decline in the preceding month. Both non-electronic and electronic NODX contracted sequentially. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the level of NODX was S$14.3 billion in November, lower than in October (S$15.8 billion), the same period a year ago (S$16.8 billion) and 2021’s average (S$16.1 billion).


“Singapore’s external sector has graduated from a slowdown to a slump,” said Oxford Economics senior Asia economist Alex Holmes. He noted that NODX is now “almost 10 per cent below their pre-pandemic level in December 2019, and nearly 16 per cent lower than a year ago”.

The shipment of electronic products fell 20.2 per cent year on year in November, against the previous month’s 9.3 per cent contraction. Contributing most to the decline in electronic NODX were integrated circuits (-23.8 per cent), disk media products (-59.8 per cent) and parts of PCs (-27.5 per cent). 

Holmes said that a turn in the semiconductor cycle is hurting exports, with export values of domestically produced chips falling.