Electronics, biomedical drag down manufacturing output
April output slid 0.3% yoy as weakness in these two manufacturing clusters offset expansion from the rest.
Specifically, the 12.5% contraction in the electronics cluster can be attributed to disappointing performance from the semiconductors and electronic modules & components. Meanwhile, anemic pharmaceuticals output continued to weigh heavily on the biomedical sector, which fell 4.2%.
The rest of the manufacturing posted decent gains led by transport engineering, which rallied to expand a whopping 29.1% in April.
Here's more from EDB Singapore.
Total Manufacturing Performance. On a year-on-year basis, manufacturing output declined 0.3% in April 2012. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output increased 0.5%. On a three-month moving average basis, manufacturing output increased 2.3% in April 2012 compared to a year ago. On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output contracted 3.5% in April 2012. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 0.8%.
Performance by cluster. The transport engineering cluster expanded 29.1% year-on-year in April 2012. Growth was led by the marine & offshore engineering segment, which grew 36.1% on the back of strong growth in rig building activities. The land transport and aerospace segments also registered healthy growth, rising 28.9% and 16.6%, respectively. Output of the transport engineering cluster in the first four months of 2012 increased 22.5%, compared to the same period in 2011.
The precision engineering cluster increased 2.7% year-on-year in April 2012. The machinery & systems segment’s output grew 4.3% with higher export demand for process control and semiconductor related equipment. The precision modules & components segment rose 1.0%, due to higher production of metal precision components and plastic precision engineering parts. On a year-to-date basis, output of the precision engineering cluster grew 1.9%, compared to the same period a year ago.
Output of the general manufacturing cluster grew 2.0% year-on-year in April 2012. The miscellaneous industries grew 5.5%, supported by higher output in concrete and structural metal products. The food, beverages & tobacco segment rose 3.8% with increased production of soft drinks and confectionery products. On the other hand, the printing segment fell 7.1%. On a year-to-date basis, the general manufacturing cluster’s output grew 2.8%, compared to the same period last year.
The chemicals cluster grew 1.1% year-on-year in April 2012. Within the cluster, the petroleum segment posted the highest gain of 17.0%, partly due to a low base in April last year when some plants were shut down for maintenance. The petrochemicals segment grew 6.8% with higher production of petrochemical primary products. However, the specialties and other chemicals segments contracted 7.2% and 12.5%, respectively due to poor demand from the region. On a year-to-date basis, chemicals output declined 4.8%, compared to the same period a year ago.
Output of the biomedical manufacturing cluster fell 4.2% in April 2012 on a year-on-year basis. The medical technology segment expanded 15.9% in April on the back of higher export demand for medical and ophthalmic products, but this was outweighed by the 7.6% decline in the pharmaceuticals segment. On a year-to-date basis, output of the biomedical manufacturing cluster was 12.6% higher, compared to the same period a year ago.
Output of the electronics cluster was 12.5% lower in April 2012 compared to a year ago. The data storage segment continued to benefit from robust demand for disk drives, expanding 41.8% in April. Other electronics segments remained weak, with the semiconductors segment contracting 23.4% amidst weak export demand. Output of the other electronic modules & components segment fell 25.3% with lower production of printed circuit boards. Cumulative output of the cluster in the first four months of 2012 fell 16.4%, compared to the same period last year.
The next monthly manufacturing performance media release will be issued on 26 June 2012.