Singapore exports post 4th month of double-digit decline with 17.3% plunge in June

SINGAPORE’S exports, already in double-digit decline for three straight months, fell again in June, according to Enterprise Singapore data released on Wednesday morning.

Non-oil domestic exports were down by 17.3 per cent on the year before, steeply worse than the drop of 9.6 per cent predicted by private economists in a Bloomberg poll.

June export figures - which comes after May’s preliminary drop of 15.9 per cent was revised down to 16.3 per cent - are being hotly watched for their impact on second-quarter economic data.

Recent flash estimates, based on April and May numbers, showed that the Republic’s gross domestic product (GDP) notched tepid growth of 0.1 per cent in the second quarter - and analysts are waiting for clarity on whether that figure could be downgraded in the final print.

Electronic shipments, which have been on a broadly downward trend since December 2017 continued to worsen. Exports posted a contraction of 31.9 per cent, even as May’s decade-low figures were revised a hair’s breadth lower, to a plunge of 31.6 per cent. Shrinking exports of integrated circuits, personal computers and disk media products fed the drop.

Meanwhile, non-electronic shipments were down by 12.4 per cent year on year in June, worsening from 11.1 per cent in the month prior, on the back of lower gold, petrochemical and pharmaceutical exports.

Save for the United States, non-oil exports to Singapore’s other top 10 markets fell again in June, led by Hong Kong, mainland China and the European Union.

On a seasonally adjusted, monthly basis, NODX slid by 7.6 per cent to S$12.9 billion, against an increase of 5.8 per cent in the month before.

Total trade decreased by 7.2 per cent year on year in June, as both exports and imports fell. The slip in May was revised downwards to 2.2 per cent, from 2.1 per cent before.

Official expectations for Singapore’s export growth were cut in May, when the outlook was downgraded to a range of between flat growth of zero and a 2 per cent decline.