Photographer: Darren Soh/Bloomberg

Singapore Exports Post Biggest Drop in Seven Months in October

Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports posted the largest decline in seven months in October, driven by a slump in pharmaceutical exports.

Key Points

  • Non-oil domestic exports fell 12 percent from a year earlier, compared with a revised 5 percent drop in September, International Enterprise Singapore said in a statement. That was worse than the median estimate of a 3 percent decline in a Bloomberg survey of 15 economists
  • Compared with the previous month, non-oil exports fell 3.7 percent
  • Pharmaceutical exports, one of the most volatile components in the index, fell 47 percent from a year earlier

Big Picture

Exports in Asia’s most trade-dependent country have remained under pressure since last year -- rising only once in the past seven months -- amid weaker global demand and a slowdown in China. That’s been a drag on the economy, which contracted an annualized 4.1 percent in the third quarter from the previous three months, according to an advanced estimate from the government. Growth is set to be closer to the lower end of the official 1 percent to 2 percent forecast range this year. Trade prospects for Asia remain bleak given the risk of protectionism following Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. election last week.

Other Details

  • Petrochemical exports fell 7 percent in October from a year ago, while electronic shipments were down 6 percent
  • Exports to the majority of Singapore’s top 10 markets fell in October, except to Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea. The largest contributors to the decline were the European Union, Japan and Indonesia
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