Manufacturing output falls 10.7% MoM in January

Excluding biomedical manufacturing output fell 0.2% MoM.

Singapore's manufacturing output fell 10.7% month-on-month (MoM) in January 2022, figures from EDB showed.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, the total output dropped 0.2% MoM.

On a year-on-year basis, however, output grew 2%; and 4.7% if biomedical manufacturing is excluded, but this still failed to meet market expectations of an 11.6 YoY growth, according to UOB.

“Fresh geopolitical risks amidst the new waves of COVID-19 infections due to Omicron variant are the key drags to an otherwise rosy backdrop. We observe that Singapore’s trade exposure to Russia remains limited. Separately, the Omicron variant has been anecdotally less severe compared to Delta,” the analyst added.

Amongst clusters, general manufacturing had the biggest year-on-year growth of 17.4% on the back of increases in the output of all its segments: miscellaneous industries (+19.9%); food, beverage, and tobacco (16.3%), and printing (4.1%).

Output in the transport engineering cluster also saw growth in January 2022, rising 16.2% YoY with its aerospace and marine and offshore engineering segments seeing 25.8% YoY, and 9.6% YoY growth in its outputs, respectively.

Other clusters which saw increases include:

Precision Engineering (+11.6% YoY)

  • Machinery and systems (+20.5%)
  • Precision modules and components (+5.7%)

Electronics (+0.1% YoY)

  • Infocomms and consumer electronics (26.3%)
  • Other electronic modules and components (19.5%)

Meanwhile, chemicals reported a decrease in their output, declining 2.3% YoY in January 2022. This is despite an expansion of 13.3% in petroleum refining throughput, and growth in its specialities and petrochemicals segments by 3.6% and 2.1%, respectively. On the other hand, the other chemicals segment contracted 22.1%.

Biomedical manufacturing output likewise declined, dropping 10.6% YoY, with its segments both seeing an expansion and a decline: medical technology (+1.1%) and pharmaceuticals (-18.0%).

Looking forward, UOB said full-year manufacturing will grow at an average of 4% in 2022, suggesting that “despite the high-base growth rate seen in 2021, global trade activity is expected to stay buoyant in the new year.”

Related story: Singapore manufacturing output up 15.6% YoY in December 2021

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