Singapore's key non-oil domestic exports (NODX) fell an annual 10.5% in June, pulled down by weaker shipments to the U.S. market as well as to China and Europe, the government said July 17.
Release of the data comes after figures last week showed Southeast Asia's most advanced economy expanded at its weakest pace in five years during the quarter ended in June, reflecting wider concerns Singapore's open economy is getting bruised by a global slowdown.
The Singapore trade numbers likely signal weakness that will soon appear in China, Thailand, South Korea and elsewhere in the region "when the impact of slower economic growth reaches the rest of Asia," said Cem Karacadag, of Credit Suisse.
June's figure for key exports was unchanged from the 10.5% decline seen in May, the trade promotion agency International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) said in its monthly report.
"The largest contributors to the NODX contraction were the U.S., EU 27 and China," it said. NODX to the U.S. in June recorded the largest decline of 24.3%, to 1.5 billion dollars, a deterioration from the 22.3% decline posted the previous month, it said. To the European Union economies, NODX fell 16.1% to 2.0 billion dollars, while shipments to China fell 11.7% to 1.3 billion dollars, IE Singapore said.
Exports to Singapore's other top markets also contracted, with the exception of Malaysia, South Korea and Hong Kong, it said.
On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, the key exports grew 4.2% last month after a 9.8% fall in May, the agency said.
Total trade in June grew 14.4% to 82.3 billion Singapore dollars (US$60.5 billion), while NODX was worth 12.79 billion dollars, the trade agency said.
Electronics exports, which have been dropping since February last year, contracted 14.6% to 4.8 billion dollars in June while non-electronic shipments eased 7.9% to 7.95 billion dollars, IE Singapore said. "Some electronics manufacturing companies have already relocated to other lower cost countries, hence causing a 'hollowing-out' in certain segments of the tech sector," it said.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008