The growth was driven by the 8.2% increase in non-electronic NODX.
Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) extended its positive performance in 2017 as it inched up 4.2% YoY in 2018 as higher exports of non-electronic NODX eclipsed the decline in electronics, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) revealed.
Non-electronic NODX rose 8.2% in 2018, extending the 9.2% increase in 2017 with food preparations (109.1%), pharmaceuticals (24.4%) and non-electric engines and motors (64.3%) as the largest contributors to growth. On the other hand, electronic NODX reversed the 8% gain in the previous year after contracting 5.5%. Parts of PCs, ICs and diodes & transistors were the largest contributors to the decrease, declining 28.7%, 3.7% and 21.8%, respectively.
NODX to the top markets as a whole grew in 2018, led by the US, EU, Japan and Indonesia, ESG added.
Meanwhile, non-oil re-exports (NORX) advanced 8.1% in 2018, following the 5.5% increase in 2017. Electronic re-exports inched up 1.9% on higher re-exports of ICs (3.2%), telecommunications equipment (10.3%) and capacitors (24.6%). Non-electronic NORX also expanded 14.4% due to higher non-electronic engines & motors (85.5%), aircraft parts (23.6%) and personal beauty products (29.6%) re-exports.
“Singapore’s total merchandise trade increased 9.2% YoY in 2018, extending the growth in 2017 of 11.1%,” ESG said. Total merchandise trade reached a high of $1.1t in 2018, compared to the $967b in 2017 and $870b in 2016.
Non-oil exports (NOX), which include both NODX and NORX rose, 6.5% in 2018, extending the upward trend from 2017.
Total trade and NODX growth are expected to moderate in 2019, easing from 2018 and 2017’s rapid pace, ESG noted.
“Downside risks such as negative effects of tariff increases enacted in the US and China, waning growth momentum and tightening financial conditions may also weigh on global growth and trade flows,” the agency added.
Taking all these factors into account, the 2019 growth projections for total merchandise trade and NODX is forecasted at between 0-2%.
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