Singapore exports rise 12.3% in September, marking 10th straight month of growth


Exports to the top markets as a whole rose in September, said ESG, although exports to the EU 27, Malaysia and Thailand declined.

The largest contributors to this increase were China, the United States and South Korea.

Exports to China grew by 38.9 per cent due to non-monetary gold, petrochemicals and integrated circuits.

China’s power crisis has sent the demand for Singapore’s petrochemical exports higher, said OCBC Bank’s head of treasury research and strategy Selena Ling.

“With power and fuel sources being conserved in China for the coming winter, demand for petrochemicals is likely to shift towards Singapore’s oil refinery hubs,” she added.

This shift in demand of oil-related products to Singapore is expected to persist until winter blows over, which suggests continued outperformance in this sector through to the fourth quarter of this year and the early part of the first quarter next year, she added.

Shipments to the US expanded by 22.2 per cent in September due to pharmaceuticals, specialised machinery and miscellaneous manufactured articles.

Exports to South Korea rose by 61.6 per cent due to specialised machinery, integrated circuits and telecommunications equipment.

Exports to emerging markets grew by 41.4 per cent in September following the 2.7 per cent expansion in August. This growth in NODX to emerging markets was mainly due to South Asia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, as well as the Middle East.

“On the whole, China’s power crisis is also expected to curtail production of many intermediate products in various supply chains, which could further exacerbate the already tight squeeze in semiconductor production and other goods,” said Ms Ling.

“Hence, outside of the petrochemical sector, we expect a general slowdown in export activity due to supply-side constraints.

“We expect these supply chain bottlenecks to persist for possibly the next two to three quarters, fully alleviating probably only in (the second half) of 2022.”

She added that NODX may see a “potential slow start” in the first half of next year due to supply chain disruptions, before a stronger finish by end-2022.

Singapore’s economy grew at a slower pace of 6.5 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021, according to advance estimates from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) last Thursday.