SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore’s total merchandise trade increased by 19.7 per cent last year, rebounding from contractions in 2020 and 2019, supported by both oil trade amid higher oil prices than a year ago as well as non-oil trade.
Total merchandise trade reached SGD1.2 trillion last year, compared with SGD969 billion in 2020 and SGD1 trillion in 2019, said Enterprise Singapore in a media release yesterday.
Enterprise Singapore attributed the increase in total merchandise trade to both oil and non-oil trade: Oil trade rose by 43.6 per cent in 2021 after contracting 31 per cent the previous year, while non-oil trade grew by 15.9 per cent last year, following the 0.7-per-cent increase in 2020.
In the fourth quarter alone, total merchandise trade grew by 28.8-per -cent year-on-year, expanding from the previous quarter’s 19-per-cent increase. This was on the back of an 86.1-per-cent jump in oil trade in the fourth quarter and a 20.8-per-cent rise in non-oil trade.
Exports and imports increased by 19.1-per-cent and 20.4-per-cent respectively in 2021.
Non-oil exports (NOX), which include both non-oil domestic exports (NODX) and non-oil re-exports (NORX), rose by 16.5-per- cent in 2021, following the preceding year’s 1.7-per-cent growth.
NODX also expanded in 2021, due to higher shipments of both electronic and non-electronic products.
Overall, NODX rose 12.1-per-cent last year, following a 4.3-per-cent growth in the previous year.
Demand for electronic products grew last year, bumping shipments up 16.3-per-cent and accelerating from the 4.9-per-cent growth in 2020. Integrated circuits, PCs and diodes and transistors contributed the most to the growth.
Demand for non-electronic products was also strong, with shipments rising by 10.9 per cent in 2021, after growing 4.1 per cent in 2020. The largest contributors to the increase in non-electronic NODX were specialised machinery, petrochemicals and primary chemicals.
In the fourth quarter alone, NODX expanded by 20.1 per cent year-on-year, compared with the previous quarter’s nine-per-cent rise.
Singapore’s NODX to its top markets generally increased, mainly due to China, Taiwan and South Korea. Exports to US, Japan and the EU 27 fell.
Oil domestic exports grew in nominal terms in 2021 amid higher oil prices than a year ago, said Enterprise Singapore.
Oil domestic exports expanded by 38 per cent last year, rebounding from a 28.1-per-cent contraction in 2020. This was due to higher shipments of oil to Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.
In volume terms, oil domestic exports declined by 10.2 per cent in 2021, after the 3.6 per cent growth in 2020.