ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Chart of the Day: See the worrying crash in Singapore’s exports to China

Shipments plunged 25.2% in January.

Singapore started the year on a weak footing, after total exports to China booked a staggering 25.2% year-on-year drop in January.

Statistics from IE Singapore show that exports to China dropped mainly because of shipment pumps, which crashed by 96.9%, petrochemicals, which slipped by 24.4% and primary chemicals, which declined by 58.3%.

The weak performance in January follows an 18.7% contraction in December.

Analysts warn that continued weakness in China—Singapore’s largest export market—bodes ill for the city-state’s economic growth for the entire year.

“This is the first official set of economic numbers for the year and it certainly spells bad news on this small and open economy. A tepid growth outlook in the US and the slowdown in China are weighing on growth prospects,” said DBS.

DBS added that the weak China figure was not surprising, particularly on back of weak global demand and a challenging external environment. DBS said that the PMIs of most key markets have remained stuck in the contraction territory while the US SEMI book-to-bill ratio is reflecting a down-cycle in the electronics industry.

“Moreover, NODXs to key northeast Asia economies such as China, Taiwan and Korea have fallen sharply (-18.7%, -17.1% and -25.8% respectively). And China is the largest export markets for these countries, including Singapore. Hence, the impact from of a slower China is significant,” DBS said.

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