SINGAPORE May 17 Singapore's April non-oil
domestic exports unexpectedly fell after five consecutive months
of growth, due to a downward swing in pharmaceutical exports.
Singapore's exports fell 0.7 percent from a year earlier,
data from trade agency International Enterprise Singapore (IE
Singapore) showed on Wednesday.
Non-oil domestic exports also fell month-on-month, dropping
by a seasonally adjusted 9.0 percent in April from March.
A Reuters poll had forecast April exports would expand 12.4
percent from a year earlier and shrink 4.1 percent from March.
Pharmaceutical exports fell sharply at 39.9 percent on a
year-on-year basis, after growing 17.7 percent in March. But
analysts say that the decline is a "one-off" that would moderate
in the months to come as the sector is volatile.
"The pharmaceutical sector is liable to a two-way swing,"
said Mizuho senior economist, Vishnu Varathan.
ELECTRONICS TO MODERATE
Singapore's electronic exports in April grew 4.8 percent
from a year ago, slowing from 5.2 percent annual growth in
The city-state's electronics sector has been key in driving
the stellar growth in exports over the last few months, helping
the trade-dependent economy avert a recession.
Singapore has been among a number of export-reliant Asian
economies to benefit from a general uptick in global demand in
recent months, enjoying strong sales of tech products.
DOUBTS OVER EXPORTS TO CHINA
Singapore's exports to China showed annual growth of 10.9
percent in April, significantly slower that the 45.5 percent
posted in March. Analysts expected that trend to hurt
Singapore's export performance in the second quarter.
"Given that most of the pickup in Q1 is due to a bounce of
China demand, the deceleration of data from China points to a
weaker Q2 NODX performance versus Q1,” said Trinh Nguyen, senior
economist for Natixis in Hong Kong adding that she doesn’t
expect the MAS to tighten policy soon.
Singapore's economy has struggled over the past two years.
In the first quarter of this year, it shrank 1.9 percent from
the previous three months and grew 2.5 percent from a year
The country's central bank has held its policy steady and
warned of risks to the global outlook, even with recent
improvements in exports and broad economic growth momentum.
(Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)