Singapore exports up by 9% in June

NON-OIL domestic exports (NODX) expanded for the 19th straight month of growth in June, mainly on the back of non-electronics shipments such as petrochemical products.

Singapore’s NODX grew by 9 per cent year on year, extending the previous month’s 12 per cent gain, trade agency Enterprise Singapore (ESG) reported on Monday (Jul 18). The trade sector’s showing was higher than the forecast of 6.1 per cent from private analysts in a Bloomberg poll.

Electronics exports were higher by 4.1 per cent in June, slowing from 12.9 per cent in the month before, while non-electronics grew by 10.6 per cent, from 11.7 per cent previously.

The growth in non-electronics was led by food preparations (48 per cent) and petrochemicals (21.1 per cent) on a year-ago low base, as well as measuring instruments (30.9 per cent).

“Sequential growth would have been stronger were it not for non-monetary gold and pharmaceuticals, which tend to be volatile,” Barclays analyst Brian Tan wrote. “With exports still holding up, policymakers will likely remain focused on containing inflation.”

Headline NODX rose in most of Singapore’s top 10 export markets, despite year-on-year declines in exports to the European Union, Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand.

NODX to the United States jumped by 21.5 per cent, reversing the previous month’s 9.6 per cent decline, on demand for food preparations, specialised machinery, and telecom equipment.

Similarly, NODX growth to mainland China – Singapore’s biggest trading partner – improved to 4.8 per cent, from 0.2 per cent in May, as an increase in non-electronics shipments offset the worsening fall in exports of electronics products.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s exports to emerging markets rose by 30.3 per cent in June, compared with an expansion of 61.9 per cent in May, which was attributed to demand from Latin America, South Asia, and the Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam region.

Non-oil re-exports (NORX) – a proxy for the wholesale trade sector – jumped by 31.4 per cent year on year, up on the 19.2 per cent increase in May. Total trade was up by 31 per cent in, against 32.1 per cent previously, which ESG said reflected increases in both oil and electronics trade.

On a month-on-month, seasonally adjusted basis, NODX increased by 3.7 per cent in June to S$17.7 billion, compared with a rise of 2.8 per cent in May.

Said Maybank economists Chua Hak Bin and Lee Ju Ye in a note: “We expect NODX growth to ease to low-single digit growth in the second half of the year. The global trade outlook is dampened by the China slowdown, Russia-Ukraine war, and global monetary tightening.

“Prices of some integrated circuits are falling due to declining market demand, which could further slow the electronics momentum in the second half.”