Singapore Sept non-oil domestic exports down 1.1 pct y/y

Singapore's petrochemical exports rose by 11.6% year on year to Singapore dollar (S$) 1.39bn in September, slowing down from the 31.9% expansion seen in the previous month, amid a dip in overall non-oil domestic exports (NODX) overseas, official data showed on Tuesday.

Exports unexpectedly contracted 1.1 percent in September on-year, data from the trade agency International Enterprise Singapore showed, a stark contrast to the 12.7 percent increase predicted by economists in a Reuters poll.

The decline comes after a 16.7 per cent growth in August marked four months of expansion.

A surge in Singapore exports proved short-lived as a plunge in electronics orders put the brakes on goods flows in the trade-reliant country.

At the same time, non-electronic NODX climbed 1.9 percent yearly in September, but much slower than the 15.0 percent growth in the previous month. Growth was driven by the exports of non-monetary gold, petrochemicals, and specialised machinery.

This is especially so because electronic exports had been the key driving force behind recent months of stronger data and economic activity, he added.

Total export growth also eased in September to 3.8 per cent from 15.1 per cent in August, according to IE Singapore. "We think that it could be the latter", said Mr Tan. "This is especially since the current electronics cycle may be coming towards an end with the rolling out of the next wave of smartphones".

NODX to 7 out of Singapore's top 10 markets expanded in September, with the exception of Hong Kong, the European Union and Thailand. The export markets that most contributed to NODX growth were in Asia, with Malaysia growing by 21.3 per cent, China by 9.6 per cent and Japan by 18.1 per cent.

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