S’pore’s non-oil exports plunge 10.1%, biggest drop in 2 years
Singapore's non-oil domestic exports fell 10.1 per cent in January from a year earlier, data released yesterday from the trade agency Enterprise Singapore showed.
That was significantly worse than the 1.6 per cent decline predicted by a Reuters poll, a further slowing from December's 8.5 per cent decline and the biggest drop since October 2016.
Exports to all Singapore's top trading partners declined in January from the year earlier, including exports to the US, which fell 4.6 per cent after 15 months of double-digit growth.
The weak export data comes two days after Singapore reported that the fourth quarter had slowest growth in more than two years and warned of significant moderation for manufacturing this year.
"Singapore joins other countries in the region, like Korea, which have been seeing slower export numbers as well," Maybank Kim Eng economist Lee Ju Ye said, adding that she expects slower exports this year, particularly in the first quarter.
Shipments to China fell 25.4 per cent in January from the year earlier, after a 15.4 per cent increase in December.
On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, exports contracted 5.7 per cent last month after declining a revised 4 per cent in December.
On Friday, Enterprise Singapore reported that for the whole of last year, Singapore's non-oil domestic exports expanded 4.2 per cent.
Significantly, there was an 8.8 per cent drop in non-oil domestic exports to Singapore's biggest trade partner, China, compared with a 31.1 per cent rise in 2017.
Electronics exports dropped 15.9 per cent from a year earlier. - REUTERS