Singapore's commodity trading sector resilient despite challenging market environment: S Iswaran

SINGAPORE'S commodity trading sector has remained resilient despite a challenging operating environment for the oil, agri-commodities and metals and minerals markets in the past few years, said Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran.

Speaking at the Global Trader Dialogue - a gathering of 300 top representative from the international commodity trading community organised by IE Singapore - he said that the entry of new Chinese independent refineries, non-ferrous traders and agriculture cooperatives into the country has further strengthened Singapore's value proposition in the trading sector.

Singapore's commodity trade turnover reached US$900 billion last year, down from the nearly US$1 trillion figure recorded in 2015 as commodity prices fell, IE Singapore said on Thursday evening.

But employment in the sector grew to 15,400 in 2016, up from 15,000 the previous year. Over 80 per cent of these were jobs in the professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMET) space, said the trade promotion agency.

The sector also contributed S$24 billion to the local economy through business spending in areas such as banking and finance, freight, manpower and legal.