Singapore non-oil exports rise for a third month in April defying Covid-19 disruption

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) rose in April, due mainly to a jump in pharmaceuticals from a low base, Enterprise Singapore data showed on Monday (May 18).

Nodx increased 9.7 per cent last month from a year earlier backed by a 12.8 per cent surge in non-electronics exports that included a 174.3 per cent gain in pharmaceuticals, 66.3 per cent rise in food preparations and a 25 per cent rise in non-monetary gold.

Enterprise Singapore said: “Pharmaceuticals formed the bulk of the growth in Nodx in April 2020, growing from the low base a year ago. Nodx of pharmaceuticals at about $0.9 billion in April 2019 was lower than the 2019 average ($1.4 billion). Pharmaceuticals Nodx are typically volatile in nature and subject to fluctuations across months.”

Electronic exports, however, slipped 0.6 per cent year on year in April, reversing from a 5.8 per cent gain in March when overall Nodx had gained 17.6 per cent.

Contributing the most to the decline in electronic exports in April were personal computers, diodes, transistors and disk drives that fell 44.3 per cent, 13.2 per cent and 32.9 per cent respectively.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, Nodx fell 5.8 per cent last month, after the previous month’s 12.8 per cent expansion.

Both electronic and non-electronic domestic exports decreased month on month. Nodx reached $14.9 billion in April 2020, lower than the previous month’s $15.8 billion.

Singapore’s exports to its top markets grew as a whole last month, though shipments to China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand declined.

The largest contributors to the Nodx growth were the United States (+124 per cent), the European Union (+106.8 per cent) and Japan (+81.1 per cent).

Total trade decreased 12.8 per cent year on year, following the 0.2 per cent decline in March.

Total exports declined by 12.7 per cent while total imports contracted by 13 per cent in April.

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