July 17, 2017 / 1:00 AM / a month ago

Singapore June year on year exports growth beats expectation on firm electronics

An aerial view of shipping containers stacked at the port of Singapore February 14, 2012.Edgar Su/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's non-oil domestic exports grew faster-than-expected in June from a year earlier, thanks to continued growth in electronics shipments as well as a rebound in non-electronic products.

Exports grew 8.2 percent from June last year, data from trade agency International Enterprise Singapore showed on Monday, beating a Reuters poll that predicted a 4.1 percent expansion.

Export figures in May were upwardly revised, growing 0.4 percent on a year-on-year basis compared with the 1.2 percent contraction previously recorded. In April, exports contracted a revised 0.3 percent from the year before.

"It's attributable to a high base last year. If you look at electronics, it's still in positive territory," said OCBC Bank analyst Selena Ling. "We're still on track. Hopefully we won't see a big drop off come second half of the year."

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, exports in June declined 2.7 percent after expanding a revised 9.4 percent in May from the previous month. The poll had projected a monthly decline of 2.1 percent for June.

In June, exports in the electronics sector -- a major driver of shipments in recent months -- grew 5.4 percent from the year earlier.

Exports of electronics have stayed solid this year, and analysts say they are likely to remain so.

In the second quarter, Singapore narrowly avoided a recession, growing at 0.4 percent from the previous three months, saved by solid global demand for its tech products.

However, some analysts have voiced concern about Singapore's dependence on its electronics industry.

"The issue most critics have with the manufacturing exports uptick is that it is very electronics-centric. If we have a broadening of the growth base, it will be more reassuring," said Ling.

Non-electronics grew 9.3 percent in June after two straight months of contraction, spurred largely by growth of petrochemical exports.

"That is not exactly what you would say would be sustainable," Ling said.

A majority of analysts believe that the Monetary Authority of Singapore will keep monetary policy steady when its next policy statement is due in October.

Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Sam Holmes

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