Monday, May 16, 2011

Singapore exports see unexpected dip of 1.8%

Singapore's offshore trade generated $874 billion in trade turnover in 2010, according to figures released by IE Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE exports fell an unexpected 1.8 per cent last month from a year earlier largely due to a slump in electronic exports and a slowdown of shipments to major markets including America, Hong Kong and South Korea.

The drop in non-oil domestic exports was largely below the 9.9 per cent growth in non-oil domestic exports in March.

Export of electronic goods slowed down 10 per cent in April after a 14 per cent drop in the previous month as shipments of disk drives, semiconductors and computer parts took a setback, trade agency International Enterprise (IE) Singapore said on Monday.

April is the third consecutive month that electronic shipments have fallen when compared against the same periods last year.

Exports excluding electronic products grew 2.8 per cent in April although this was much smaller compared to the 24 per cent increase in March. Leading the growth in these exports were pharmaceuticals, specialised machinery and plastic plates, and sheets. Compared to the month of March, exports in April fell 3.6 per cent.

Economists have said that a slowdown in electronics and non-electronics could continue. UOB analyst Chow Penn Nee said in a report on Monday: 'The outlook for electronics might continue to be one of a downward trajectory, exacerbated by supply chain disruptions in Japan, as well as the waning external demand. The high base effect last year should also see smaller growth rates for this year, both in the electronics and non-electronics sectors.'

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