ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

NODX climbs for fifth straight quarter with 8% growth in Q3

It was driven by the 12.6% YoY growth in the non-electronic segment.

Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) rose 8% YoY in Q3, according to Enterprise Singapore (ESG).

It was driven by non-electronic exports which grew for the fifth consecutive quarter at 12.6%. The largest contributors to the increase in non-electronic NODX were pharmaceuticals (64.9%), food preparations (75.5%) and measuring instruments (16.2%).

Electronic NODX on the the other hand extended the downward trend from the previous quarter after falling 3% YoY in Q3. Diodes & transistors (-25.6%), ICs (-3.2%) and parts of PCs (-11.7%) contributed the most to the decrease in electronic NODX.

“NODX to top markets generally rose in Q3 2018, led by the US, the EU 28 and Indonesia,” ESG noted.

Meanwhile, NORX picked up at a faster pace a 11.9% in Q3 from 5.7% in Q2 due to increased shipment of non-electronic re-exports. Non-electronic NORX jumped 27.1% due to higher re-exports of non-electronic engines & motors (126.4%), non-monetary gold (102.9%) and electrical circuit apparatus (64.6%).

However, electronic NORX slipped 1.2% due to lower re-exports of diodes & transistors (-13.6%), disk media products (-30.9%) and ICs (-0.8%).

Total merchandise trade grew 14.7% YoY and 4.7% QoQ in Q3 as both oil and non-oil trade rose. Oil trade rose 28.2% in Q3 amidst higher oil prices, following the 23.1% growth seen in Q2

Non-oil exports which include both NODX and NORX grew 10.3% YoY, the statement revealed. This follows Q2’s performance which saw a 7.2% rise. On a QoQ basis, NOX rose 3.9% in Q3 after the 6.5% growth in Q2.

Oil domestic exports climbed 28.9% YoY and 0.9% QoQ in Q3. On the other hand, oil re-exports contracted 28.9% in Q3 compared to the 6.1% growth in Q2.

For total services trade, Singapore saw a growth rate at 3% YoY, hitting $120.2b in Q3 as both services exports and imports increased 3.3% and 2.7%, respectively.

“The growth in services exports can be attributed to the increase in receipts from charges for the use of intellectual property (28.9%), other business services (2.3%) and financial services (3.5),” ESG highlighted.

Overall, Q3’s performance was better than expected amidst favourable sector-specific export growth and higher oil prices. “For 2019, Singapore’s key trade partners such as China, ASEAN-5, the Eurozone, the US and NIEs are expected to grow, though the pace is likely to moderate from the performance in 2018 and 2017,” the ESG noted.

However, escalating trade tensions, rising global interest rates and tightening financial conditions may weigh on global growth and trade flows.

With this, the agency revised its 2018 growth projections from 9% to 9.5% for total merchandise trade and 5.5% to 6% for NODX. Growth projections for 2019 stand at 0% and 2% for total merchandise trade and NODX, respectively. 

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