Singapore’s key exports dip 0.1% in May, mildest decline in 20 months

Singapore’s key exports dip 0.1% in May, mildest decline in 20 months

SINGAPORE - Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) declined 0.1 per cent year on year in May, moderating from a revised 9.6 per cent contraction in April.

This marks the fourth straight month of contraction, but it was still the mildest decline in 20 months, trade agency Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) said on June 18.

Electronic exports posted the first double-digit growth in 22 months. They grew 21.9 per cent year on year in May, extending the 3.3 per cent increase in April.

The growth in electronic Nodx was driven by integrated circuits (ICs), also referred to as chips or semiconductors.

Year on year, ICs expanded by 35.8 per cent to $1.9 billion.

ICs – which makes up about half of electronics exports – are a vital component of various electronic devices.

Shipments of disk media products and personal computers (PCs) also contributed to the growth in electronic Nodx.

Disk media products recorded 92 per cent increase from a year ago to $0.3 billion, while PCs grew 27.2 per cent to $0.1 billion.

The pace of decline eased for non-electronics, which shrank 6 per cent in May from the previous year. This follows a 12.6 per cent contraction in April.

The decline in non-electronic NODX was driven by non-monetary gold, which contracted by 47.2 per cent from a  high base a year ago.

Pharmaceutical shipments fell by 37.5 per cent while electrical circuit apparatus declined by 21.8 per cent.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, which removes the effects of seasonal variations in the numbers, Nodx declined 0.1 per cent in May, after a revised 7.3 per cent increase in April.

In value terms, May Nodx came to $13.9 billion, similar to the previous month’s $13.9 billion but lower than the year-ago level of $14.0 billion and 2023’s average of $14.5 billion.

By markets, shipments to Singapore’s top 10 markets as a whole grew in May.

Notably shipments to the United States recovered from April’s falls to expand 12.1 per cent.

However, shipments to China slipped into the red, falling 22.1 per cent.

Singapore’s exports to the European Union also remained weak, falling another 8.7 per cent in May and shipments to Japan reversed April’s gains to contract 12.7 per cent.

Year on year, total trade expanded 14.2 per cent in May to $108.3 billion, following the 15.6 per cent growth in April.

EnterpriseSG said in May that Singapore now expects growth in key exports to come in at the lower end of the range of 4 per cent to 6 per cent growth forecast in 2024.

This followed a disappointing start to the year, where Nodx fell 3.4 per cent to around $42 billion in the first quarter of 2024.

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