Singapore Exports Plunge 20.2% in July, Marking 10th Consecutive Month of Decline
Singapore's key exports fell for the 10th straight month in July, dragged by weakness in both electronics and non-electronics exports.
Non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) in July shrank 20.2 per cent compared with the same month in 2022, and contracted 3.4 per cent from June, data from Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) showed on Thursday.
This was worse than the 14.4 per cent contraction forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.
In June, Nodx contracted 15.6 per cent compared with a year earlier, but grew 5.2 per cent from the preceding month of May.
Mr Louis Kuijs, chief Asia economist at S&P Global Ratings, told The Straits Times that exports from Singapore, like the rest of Asia, had been weak in recent months due to slowing demand in the United States and Europe, disappointing demand from China and a delay in the recovery of the semiconductor industry cycle.
"Moreover, falling prices of tradable goods weigh on export revenues in US dollar terms. Looking ahead, these factors are unlikely to improve soon. Thus, prospects remain subdued,” Mr Kuijs said.
Electronics Exports Now Impacted
Electronics shipments remained the biggest drag on July’s Nodx, tumbling 26.1 per cent compared with July 2022.
Improvements in the export of telecommunications equipment could not offset the pronounced and prolonged soft patch in integrated circuits, disk media products and parts of integrated circuits.
Non-Electronics Exports Contracted
Non-electronics exports shrank 18.5 per cent, dragged by non-monetary gold, specialised machinery and petrochemicals. They fell from the high base a year ago in July 2022.
Meanwhile, petrochemical exports dropped 23 per cent year on year on the back of refinery plant maintenance shutdowns and weak demand.
Shipments to most of Singapore’s top 10 markets shrank in July, except for the United States.
Exports to China fell 20.1 per cent year on year, from a 3.1 per cent growth in June, due to weaker exports of integrated circuits, pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals.
Nodx to the European Union plunged 38.6 per cent due to a fall in pharmaceuticals, primary chemicals and specialised machinery.
Exports to Taiwan contracted 36 per cent, dragged by specialised machinery, integrated circuits and parts of integrated circuits.
Total trade contracted 20.8 per cent year on year, extending the 19.3 per cent drop in June.
Oil domestic exports shrank 37.4 per cent in July on lower exports to Malaysia, Indonesia and the EU 27.
Growth Forecast Cut
Last week, Singapore downgraded its economic growth forecast to 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent, from the 0.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent range expected earlier, amid a weak global economy and sluggish demand from major trading partners.
It also cut again its 2023 growth forecasts for exports as the downturn in global electronics demand continues to weigh on Singapore’s trading partners.
Both Nodx and total merchandise trade are now expected to contract by 9 per cent to 10 per cent in 2023, due to a worse-than-expected performance to date, weighed down by the manufacturing down cycle and lower oil prices.