ECONOMY, MANUFACTURING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Manufacturing output dipped 8.4% in July

Output from all clusters, except precision engineering, dropped.

Singapore’s manufacturing output slipped 8.4% YoY in July, dragged by the transport engineering and the biomedical manufacturing clusters. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell at a more relaxed pace at 5.2%.

On a three-month moving average basis, manufacturing output decreased 7.7% in July, compared to a year ago. Whilst on a MoM basis, output inched up 1.6%.

Transport engineering output dropped 39.8% YoY in July as all segments recorded a decline. The aerospace segment remained weak as the volume of aircraft repair and maintenance work remained low, whilst the marine and offshore engineering segment shrank 58.7% as movement restrictions at foreign worker dormitories continued to adversely impact the level of activities in the shipyards.

As for the biomedical manufacturing, output crashed 24.8% YoY , no thanks to the medical technology and pharmaceutical segments that declined 10.1% and 30.5% respectively, with the latter recording lower output in biological products and a different mix of active pharmaceuticals ingredients from a year ago.

General manufacturing output also contracted 22.2% YoY, with all segments recording output declines. The food, beverage and tobacco segment fell 9.8% on account of lower production of milk powder and beverage products, whilst the printing and miscellaneous industries segments fell 18.8% and 38.7% respectively. The latter registered lower output of construction-related products.

Output from the chemicals segment dipped 2.4% YoY in July. The other chemicals segment fell 15.2%, whilst the specialties and petroleum segments contracted 16% each, on the back of plant maintenance shutdowns and lower export orders amid the COVID-19 outbreak. This was countered by the petrochemicals segment, which grew 11.5% YoY.

The electronics output also fell slightly by 1.4% YoY. The other electronic modules and components and semiconductors segments grew 2.8% and 0.3% respectively. However, it was offset by the infocomms and consumer electronics and computers and data storage segments that recorded declines.

Lastly, the output from the precision engineering cluster was the only one that saw an improvement as it edged up 9.3% YoY in July. The machinery and systems segment jumped 20.4%, on the back of higher production of semiconductor equipment. Meanwhile, the precision modules and components segment dropped 14.7% with lower output in optical products and dies, moulds, tools, jigs and fixtures. 

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