SINGAPORE – Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) posted its first gain in three months in December, mainly helped by shipment of non-electronic goods such as specialised machinery, non-monetary gold and measuring instruments.
Nodx surged last month by 6.8 per cent year on year after a revised 5 per cent drop in November and a 3.1 per cent decrease in October, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) said on Monday (Jan 18). Before October, Singapore saw four consecutive months of Nodx growth.
Economists in a Bloomberg survey had forecast a 1.1 per cent year on year decline in December Nodx.
On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, Nodx rose by 6.6 per cent in December, extending the previous month’s 3.7 per cent increase – again higher than the 3.5 per cent rise forecast in the Bloomberg poll.
Electronics grew 13.7 per cent, but mainly due to a low year-ago base. ESG said electronic Nodx gains last month were mostly due to a 16 per cent surge in integrated circuits shipments which had contracted by 25 per cent in December 2019 amid the global electronics downcycle.
Parts of personal computers, diodes and transistors expanded by 15.7 per cent, 33.8 per cent and 16.5 per cent respectively.
Non-electronic Nodx rose by 5 per cent last month, after a 5.3 per cent decline in the previous month. The gains were led by specialised machinery (+30.9 per cent), non-monetary gold (+14.5 per cent) and measuring instruments (+21.4 per cent).
The bulk of the specialised machinery shipments went to South Korea, in line with robust global semiconductor demand.
Meanwhile non-monetary gold exports were helped by the spike in the preious metal’s international price that rose above US$1,900 per ounce last month amid reports of stimulus measures in the US. A new wave of lockdowns in the United Kingdom also provided support for the safe haven asset’s demand.
Nodx to the top markets as a whole grew in December. Still, exports to China, the EU 27, Indonesia and Japan declined. The largest contributors to the Nodx increase last month were the US (+52.5 per cent), South Korea (+46.2 per cent) and Taiwan (+14.8 per cent).
Total trade declined 0.3 per cent in December from the same month of 2019, extending a 7.3 percent drop in November and a 7.7 per cent slide in October.
Total exports grew by 2.6 per cent after the previous month’s 5.4 per cent decline. Total imports decreased by 3.4 per cent following the 9.4 per cent drop in November.