Singapore’s 6.8% Export Growth in December Beats Estimates

Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports jumped by 6.8 percent year over year in December 2020, following an annual decline of 5.0 percent for November, Enterprise Singapore said on 18 January.  

The growth in exports beat analyst expectations and was mainly driven by exports in the non-electronics sector such as specialised machinery, non-monetary gold, and measuring instruments. Exports of electronics also grew in December, from a low base a year earlier, data from Enterprise Singapore showed.  

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports jumped by 6.6 percent in December, extending the November monthly rise of 3.7 percent.

Electronics exports grew by 13.7 percent in December 2020 from a low base in December 2019, while non-electronic exports increased by 5.0 percent in December 2020, after a drop of 5.3 percent in November. Exports of specialised machinery (up 30.9 percent), non-monetary gold (up 14.5 percent), and measuring instruments (up 21.4 percent) contributed the most to the annual growth in December in non-electronic non-oil exports of the ASEAN member state, Enterprise Singapore said.  

Exports to the United States surged by 52.5 percent, exports to South Korea soared by 46.2 percent, and exports to Taiwan jumped by 14.8 percent in December 2020.

“Despite a weak external environment, which remains bogged down by covid infections and lockdowns, Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (NODX) rose 6.8%YoY in December, beating expectations,” Robert Carnell, Regional Head of Research, Asia-Pacific, at ING, said, commenting on the data.

“It’s not unusual for NODX forecasts to be wide of the mark, this is a series made up of a number of very volatile components. But other trade data for the region has been reasonably positive so far this month, so it is not a big surprise that the miss was on the upside,” Carnell noted.