Singapore’s manufacturing output expanded by 17.9% y-o-y in November 2020, according to figures released by EDB Singapore on Dec 24.
With the exception of biomedical manufacturing, output increased 14.0% y-o-y.
On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, November’s manufacturing output was up by 7.2%.
According to UOB's senior economist Alvin Liew, the figure beat market expectations. The expansion was also well above Bloomberg expectations for a +14.1% y/y (+2.7% m-o-m sa) increase as well as UOB’s slightly more bullish estimate at +15.4% y-o-y.
In addition, Oct’s decline was revised slightly to -0.8% y-o-y, from -0.9% y-o-y, says Liew.
"While a very favourable base effect (industrial production or IP contracted 12.3% y-o-y in Nov 2019) did play a part in the strong rebound of the Nov IP, the surge in manufacturing activity could also be attributed to better performance of the key manufacturing clusters," Liew adds.
Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output was up by 6.0% m-o-m.
General manufacturing output contracted by 13.3% y-o-y with all segments recording declines in output.
The food, beverage and tobacco segment fell 14.0% due to the lower production of beverage products and milk powder.
The miscellaneous industries and printing segments fell by 10.7% and 19.6% respectively. The former continued to see weak demand for construction products.
Output of the general manufacturing cluster fell 12.7% y-o-y year-to-date.
The transport engineering sector also saw a 29.5% y-o-y decline in its output, and a 25.3% y-o-y decline year-to-date as the marine and offshore engineering and aerospace segments fell by 33.5% and 38.7% respectively.
Levels of activity in the aerospace firms and shipyards remained low as new orders were negatively impacted by the travel restrictions and weak global oil and gas market.
The land segment in the sector was the only bright spot as it expanded 31.8% y-o-y with higher output of parts and accessories for motor vehicles.
Output for the biomedical manufacturing sector grew by 40.6% y-o-y in November, and 26.1% y-o-y on a year-to-date basis.
This was due to the 50.8% expansion of the pharmaceuticals segment expanded 50.8% with higher production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products.
The medical technology segment grew by 22.7% y-o-y with higher export demand for medical devices.
The electronics sector registered a 34.9% growth in output for November, as all segments recorded output growth with the exception of the infocomms and consumer electronics subsector.
In particular, the semiconductor segment grew 40.9%, which was supported by demand from Singapore markets and a low production base from a year ago.
The overall output of the electronics cluster improved 9.3% y-o-y year-to-date from January to November.
The chemicals sector saw a growth in output of 10.1% y-o-y. The petrochemicals segment grew 25.1% from a low base in 2019 due to plant maintenance shutdowns.
The specialties segment was up by 8.9% y-o-y with the higher production of industrial gases and mineral oil additives.
The other chemicals and petroleum segments, however, contracted 2.0% and 31.7% y-o-y respectively amid weak demand due to Covid-19.
Year-to-date, output of the chemicals cluster fell 2.2% y-o-y.
Output for the precision engineering sector grew up 7.3% y-o-y.
The machinery and systems segment grew 9.4% y-o-y with higher output of semiconductor equipment.
The precision modules & components segment rose 2.8% on account of higher production of optical instrument and metal precision components.
The cluster grew 10.6% y-o-y overall year-to-date compared to 2019.