SINGAPORE (Sept 19): Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) are likely to stay weak in 2019, according to RHB Group Research.

This comes following a weaker set of August trade data that was released on Sept 17.

The brokerage says it is keeping its forecast of a 10% contraction in NODX for the year.

“The heightened US-China trade war amid upcoming new tariffs should keep exports largely in the negative throughout the year,” RHB writes in a note dated Sept 17.

Last month, NODX fell 8.9% y-o-y on the back of declines in electronic and non-electronic exports, continuing from the 11.4% y-o-y drop recorded in July.

Electronic NODX tumbled 25.9% y-o-y in August, following a 24.2% drop in the previous month. ICs, PCs and disk media products, which contracted 32.1%, 28.6% and 11.9% respectively, contributed the most to the decline in electronic NODX.

Non-electronic NODX decreased 2.2% in August, easing from a 6.7% decline in the previous month. Pharmaceuticals (-23.6%), petrochemicals (-20.8%) and primary chemicals (-29.3%) contributed the most to the decline in non-electronic NODX.

Meanwhile, oil domestic exports tumbled 27.3% in August, following a 7.8% drop in the preceding month.

Non-oil re-exports also slipped 5.4% y-o-y on the back of declines in both electronic and non-electronic re-exports. This compares to the 1.1% decline in July.

RHB says further declines in electronics exports have indicated that the weakness in the sector is likely to remain ongoing.