Singapore exports fall for 12th month in September but recovery seen

Containers are loaded on the premises of the port operator PSA, the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA), at the Port of Singapore on 14 June 2022.

Bernd von Jutrczenka | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Singapore’s exports fell for a 12th straight month in September on a year-on-year basis as the trade-reliant economy grappled again with global headwinds on inflation and declining demand.

Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports, or NODX, fell 13.2% in September from the same month a year earlier, data on Tuesday showed, as both electronic and non-electronic exports to its top 10 markets declined.

Last month’s fall compared with a Reuters poll forecast of a 14.7% drop, and extended the 22.5% contraction seen in August.

There were, however, some “green shoots” in some markets, said OCBC economist Selena Ling, adding that September’s data suggested some stabilization.

Non-oil shipments to China grew 26.2%. Non-oil exports to Hong Kong also grew 55%, and to the U.S. by 9.7%.

On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, NODX grew by 11.1% in September, after decreasing 6.6% in August.

Maybank economist Chua Hak Bin said the month-on-month seasonally adjusted numbers are strong, and alongside growing exports to China, Hong Kong and the U.S., “suggests a modest recovery may be underway going into 2024.”

The biggest decline in non-oil shipments was to Indonesia, which contracted 45.2% year-on-year, with lower exports of non-monetary gold, petrochemicals and prepared additive for mineral oils.