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Singapore September Exports Unexpectedly Decline on Electronics

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Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s exports unexpectedly declined for a second month in September as manufacturers sold fewer electronics and pharmaceuticals to customers abroad.

Non-oil domestic exports slid 3.4 percent from a year earlier, after a revised 10.7 percent drop in August, the trade promotion agency said in a statement today. The median of 16 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was for a 1.2 percent gain.

Singapore’s central bank held off from easing monetary policy last week even as the gross domestic product contracted in the third quarter, and the Trade Ministry said growth will be weighed down for the rest of the year by a “subdued” world economy. The International Monetary Fund this month cut its projections for global expansion this year and next, saying it sees “alarmingly high” risks of a steeper slowdown.

“Continued weakness in leading indicators like the SEMI book-to-bill ratio and global PMIs suggested continued volatility in exports and manufacturing can be expected ahead,” Leslie Tang, an economist at OSK-DMG in Singapore, said before the report, referring to semiconductor orders and shipments and purchasing managers indexes.

Singapore’s electronics shipments by companies such as Venture Corp. fell 16.4 percent in September from a year earlier, after slipping 11 percent the previous month.

Non-electronics shipments, which include petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, rose 4.2 percent. Petrochemicals exports gained 5.5 percent, while pharmaceutical shipments slid 3 percent after dropping 3.2 percent in August.

Singapore’s non-oil exports rose a seasonally adjusted 1.6 percent last month from August, when they dropped 9.1 percent, today’s report showed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shamim Adam in Singapore at sadam2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net

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