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Singapore’s non-oil exports experience 15.5% decline in June 2023, extending downward trend

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) have faced significant challenges, with a decline of 15.5% in June 2023, according to data released by Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) on Monday (17 Jul).

This latest setback extends the downward trend observed in May 2023, when NODX contracted by 14.8%. The situation worsened in April 2023, when NODX faced a 9.8% contraction, marking the ninth consecutive month of decline.

“NODX to the top markets as a whole declined in June 2023, though NODX to Hong Kong and China rose,” said EnterpriseSG.

The largest contributors to the decline in NODX were Malaysia (-30.7%), Indonesia (-35.7%), and South Korea (-24.2%).

Further examination of Singapore’s Non-oil Re-exports (NORX) reveals a similar pattern of decline, recording a contraction of 13.7% in June 2023 following a 10.1% decline in May 2023; both exports and imports decreased.

Electronic NODX declined by 15.9% in June 2023

However, it is worth noting that on a month-on-month seasonally adjusted (m-o-m SA) basis, NODX showed some signs of recovery, growing by 5.4% in June 2023 after a significant 14.6% decline the previous month. The increase was observed in both electronic and non-electronic domestic exports.

Despite the positive m-o-m SA growth, the overall level of NODX in June 2023 stood at S$14.5 billion, which was higher than the previous month’s S$13.8 billion but lower than June 2022’s S$17.3 billion.

The data indicate a year-on-year decline, mainly driven by the non-electronics sector, including petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and primary chemicals, which all experienced substantial contractions.

The electronics sector also faced challenges, recording a y-o-y decline of 15.9% in June 2023, following a sharp 27.2% contraction in the previous month.

ICs, PCs and parts of PCs contracted by 31.8%, 44.2% and 44.8% respectively, contributing the most to the decline in electronic NODX.

A breakdown of the electronic NODX decline reveals that integrated circuits (ICs), personal computers (PCs), and PC parts were among the most affected, contracting by 31.8%, 44.2%, and 44.8%, respectively.

Similarly, non-electronic NODX witnessed a y-o-y contraction of 15.4% in June 2023, extending the 10.7% decline in the previous month. The decline was particularly pronounced in the petrochemicals (-34.0%), pharmaceuticals (-29.5%), and primary chemicals (-61.8%) segments.

NODX to the top markets as a whole declined in June 2023

Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) to its top markets as a whole experienced a decline, although there were some bright spots, particularly in NODX to Hong Kong and China.

NODX to Malaysia, one of Singapore’s significant trading partners, contracted sharply by 30.7% in June 2023, following a 26.2% decline in the previous month. The decline was primarily driven by reduced exports of integrated circuits (ICs), articles of plastic, and specialized machinery.

Similarly, NODX to Indonesia faced a notable decline of 35.7% in June 2023, extending the 13.7% contraction in the preceding month. Petrochemicals, plastic plates & sheets, and primary chemicals were among the major contributors to this decline.

Another significant market for Singapore, South Korea, experienced a decline of 24.2% in NODX in June 2023, following an 18.6% contraction in the preceding month. Integrated circuits (ICs), measuring instruments, and personal computers (PCs) were the main drivers behind this decline.

NORX faced challenges

On the other hand, electronic non-oil re-exports (NORX) faced challenges, declining by 17.1% in June 2023 compared to the previous year, following a 19.8% contraction in May 2023. The decline in electronic NORX was primarily due to decreased exports of ICs, diodes & transistors, and parts of PCs.

Non-electronic NORX also experienced a decline of 9.6% in June 2023 compared to the previous year. Specialized machinery, non-monetary gold, and electrical machinery were the main contributors to this decline.

In contrast, on a month-on-month seasonally adjusted (m-o-m SA) basis, NORX showed a modest increase of 3.6% in June 2023, following a 1.4% growth in the previous month. The growth was driven by improvements in the electronics sector while non-electronics faced a decline.

On a SA basis, NORX reached S$28.4 billion in June 2023, higher than the S$27.4 billion in the previous month but lower than the levels seen a year ago, signaling some challenges in the current export environment.

However, there was a positive note in terms of volume, with oil domestic exports growing by 13.0% in June 2023, following a 6.5% rise in the previous month. Nonetheless, on a m-o-m SA basis, oil domestic exports decreased by 1.3% in June 2023, following a 5.5% decline in May 2023.

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