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High base, electronics drag September non-oil exports to 1.1% decline

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Singapore non oil domestic exports (NODX) slipped 1.1 per cent from a year ago in September after a 16.7 per cent jump in August, figures released by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore show.

SINGAPORE'S non-oil domestic exports (NODX) lost steam in September to post a 1.1 per cent decline after months of increase capped by a 16.7 per cent year-on-year surge in August.

The drop was even more stark month on month, with the NODX plunging by a seasonally adjusted 11 per cent. The NODX was up 4.2 per cent month on month in August.

The September slowdown was largely due to a high base a year ago, according to trade promotion agency International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, which released the latest trade data this morning. In particular the drop was due mainly to a slip in the electronic NODX. After 10 straight months of growth, it tumbled 7.9 per cent year on year, a big comedown from the 20.8 per cent spike in August.

Electronic NODX was dragged down mostly by decreased shipments of personal computers, down 17.6 per cent; integrated circuits, down 4.1 per cent; and diodes and transistors, down 18.1 per cent.

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Non-electronic NODX, however, continued to hum in September, albeit at a modest 1.9 per cent pace. In the previous month, non-electronic NODX was speeding at a 15 per cent clip.

The growth in non-electronic NODX last month was led by non-monetary gold, up 70.2 per cent; petrochemicals, up 11.6 per cent; and specialised machinery exports up 15.5 per cent.

NODX exports continued to rise in the top 10 markets last month, except for Hong Kong, down 21.1 per cent; the European Union, down 8.9 per cent; and Thailand, down 9.1 per cent. The export markets that most contributed to NODX growth were in Asia, with Malaysia growing by 21.3 per cent, China by 9.6 per cent and Japan by 18.1 per cent.

Non-oil re-exports, which go mainly to markets in the region, rose slightly at 0.5 per cent against the 11.8 per cent jump in August.

Total export growth also eased in September to 3.8 per cent from 15.1 per cent in August, according to IE Singapore. Along with a 9.1 per cent rise in imports, easing from 15.8 per cent growth in the previous month, it kept overall trade expansion going last month, though slowing from a 15.4 per cent rate in August to 6.2 per cent.

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