Singapore key exports contract 15.6% in February in fifth straight month of decline

SINGAPORE’S key exports contracted for the fifth straight month in February, albeit at a slower pace than the month before, as the decline in non-electronic shipments eased, data from Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) showed on Friday (Mar 17).

Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) declined by 15.6 per cent year on year in February, an improvement from the 25 per cent tumble in January, on the back of contractions in both electronics and non-electronics exports.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, NODX fell 8 per cent last month, reversing January’s 0.9 per cent growth. The value of exports shrank to S$13.3 billion in February, from S$14.4 billion the month before.

The shipment of electronic products fell 26.5 per cent year on year in February, a notch lower than the previous month’s 26.8 per cent decline. This was due largely to the contraction in exports of integrated circuits, disk media products and capacitors, said EnterpriseSG.

The decline of non-electronic shipments slowed to 12.1 per cent year on year last month, easing from the 24.5 per cent contraction in January. The worst performing export categories were structures of ships and boats, petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.

NODX to Singapore’s top 10 markets as a whole declined in February, although exports to the US, Japan and Thailand rose.

Shipments to Hong Kong shrank by 46.4 per cent year on year, easing from January’s 55.1 per cent slump.

Exports to the eurozone tumbled 34.2 per cent year on year in February, after the previous month’s 21.4 per cent growth.

NODX to Japan posted the best improvement with a year-on-year growth of 15.2 per cent in February, up from 1.4 per cent in the month before.

This was followed by exports to the US, which grew 8.7 per cent year on year, reversing the 31.5 per cent contraction in January.

Overall, total trade fell by 3.7 per cent year on year in February, easing from the 10.4 per cent decrease in the previous month, as both exports and imports shrank.