MANUFACTURING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Industrial production fell 7.4% in May

Manufacturing’s growth halted as circuit breaker measures disrupted production.

Singapore’s industrial production (IP) fell by 7.4% in May, according to Maybank Kim Eng research report, whilst IP ex-biomed plunged by 10.4%.

Manufacturing’s growth skidded to a halt in May as circuit breaker measures disrupted production of medical technology, marine and offshore, as well as general manufacturing,

Circuit breaker measures dealt a significant blow to some clusters, especially transport engineering which plunged to the lowest level in 15 years. Marine and offshore engineering nosedived 55% as work in shipyards was disrupted, whilst the aerospace and land transport segments recorded 30% and 39% drops, respectively, as flights were grounded and international travel collapsed. General manufacturing also had steep declines of 27% across all segments.

Meanwhile, biomedical manufacturing was the only bright spot in May with a 5.9% growth thanks to the increase of 15% in production of the pharmaceuticals segment. However, the medical technology segment weighed on growth with a fall of 20%.

Further, the electronics dipped 1% on the back of computer peripherals and data storage (-24%) and infocomm and consumer electronics (-5.2%).

On the other hand, semiconductors rose for a third month by 1.6%, driven by demand from cloud services, data centres and 5G markets. Precision engineering slid 5.3% due to the decline of 23% in the precision modules and components segment, but the machinery and systems segment stayed positive with a 2.8% higher production of semiconductor equipment.

Chemicals plunged 13% due to weaker demand and plant maintenance shutdowns for petroleum and petrochemicals with a decline of 19% and 11%, respectively.

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