Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports, or NODX, grew 8.0 percent on-year in the third quarter, slowing from 9.3 percent growth in the second quarter, as increased non-electronics shipments were offset by lower exports of electronics, Enterprise Singapore said in a statement on Thursday.
“Total trade and NODX performed better-than-expected in the third quarter of 2018, on the back of favourable sector-specific export trends in the pharmaceuticals and food and beverages clusters. Meanwhile, oil prices improved since the last update, further supporting our oil trade,” the statement said.
“Overall, total trade and NODX growth are expected to remain firm in 2018 but ease from 2017’s rapid pace,” it added.
Domestic electronics exports fell 3.0 percent on-year in the third quarter, narrowing from a 7.8 percent decline in the second quarter, the statement said. Diodes and transistors, ICs and parts of PCs contributed the most to the electronics NODX decline, it said.
Non-electronic product exports grew 12.6 percent on-year in the third quarter, slower than the second quarter’s 16.5 percent growth pace, it said. Pharmaceuticals, food preparations and measuring instruments saw their exports increase 64.9 percent, 75.5 percent and 16.2 percent, respectively, contributing the most to the segment’s growth, it said.
NODX to China, South Korea and Hong Kong declined in the third quarter, but rose to the rest of the top 10 markets, it said. The U.S., the EU 28 and Indonesia contributed the most to the NODX increase, it said.
Total merchandise trade grew 14.7 percent on-year in the third quarter, up from 10.2 percent in the second quarter as both oil and non-oil trade increased, it said.
For services, total trade rose 3.0 percent on-year in the third quarter, slightly faster than the second quarter’s 2.9 percent pace, it said. Services exports rose 3.3 percent on-year in the quarter, slightly faster than the second quarter’s 3.2 percent pace, due to increased receipts for use of intellectual property, other business services and financial services, it said.
For 2019, the pace of growth from key trade partners, including China, Asean-five, the eurozone and the U.S., is likely to moderate from levels seen in 2017 and 2018, Enterprise Singapore said.
“Downside risks such as trade tensions, rising global interest rates and tightening financial conditions may also weigh on global growth and trade flows,” it said.
It raised its 2018 growth projects for 9.0 percent to 9.5 percent for total merchandise trade and 5.5 percent to 6.0 percent for NODX, but for 2019, its projections are 0 percent to 2.0 percent for both total merchandise trade and NODX.