Are Singapore's weak April exports numbers just a temporary blip?
Export and manufacturing continue to be supported for 3% GDP growth.
Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) experienced a decline after six months of acceleration. A sharp decline in pharmaceuticals weighed down the supposed recovery.
According to analysts from Maybank, non-electronic products were down by -2.9%, while electronic products softened to +4.8% in growth.
Non-oil re-exports, a proxy for wholesale trade services, fell by -0.1% from a year ago after four months of improvement, also weighed down by non-electronics (-3.8%).
Here’s more from Maybank:
Pharmaceutical production and exports declined by -40% from a year ago partly due to the high base as Apr-16 levels were a record high since April 2015. NORX’s weakness came from the steep fall in precious stones & pearls (-70.5%) and non-monetary gold (-59.8%).
NODX to 4 out of the top 10 markets declined in April, mainly to EU 28 (-36%), Hong Kong (-23%), US (-9.6%) and Japan (2.3%).
The steep fall in pharma exports to EU and US explains the decline to the two countries. Exports to China also moderated to +11% after surging by +49% during the first quarter. NODX to Korea and Taiwan remain strong.