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Singapore key exports on track for gradual but uneven recovery

ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – The slump in Singapore’s key exports eased again in October, with analysts tipping a gradual and uneven recovery back to growth in the months ahead.

Non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) fell 3.4 per cent in October from the same month a year ago, according to data released by trade agency Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) on Friday.

It marked the 13th straight month that shipments shrank on a year-on-year basis.

But the data beat the expectations of analysts polled by Bloomberg who predicted a drop of six per cent.

October’s export decline was also much less than the 13.2 per cent fall in September.

Exports to Singapore’s top markets fell as a whole, led by the United States and South Korea. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES

In another sign of improvement, on a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, Nodx grew by 3.4 per cent in October, extending September’s 11.1 per cent expansion.

EnterpriseSG noted that a low base helped electronic and non-electronic exports to decline less sharply in October. Electronic shipments dropped 5.6 per cent year on year, easing from the 11.6 per cent fall of the previous month.

The decline was led by integrated circuits, diodes and transistors, and parts of personal computers.

Non-electronic Nodx also fell, by 2.7 per cent in October. This was an improvement from the 13.7 per cent drop the previous month. Food preparations, non-electric engines and motors, and electrical machinery contributed to the decline.

DBS economist Chua Han Teng said base effects were supportive in October and will continue to be so in the coming months.