SINGAPORE (Oct 17): Singapore’s non-oil domestic export (NODX) increased by 8.3% in September, following the 5.0% growth in August; due to growth in non-electronic NODX which outweighed the decline in electronics, reported Enterprise Singapore this morning.

Electronic NODX declined by 0.9% in September, following the 1.5% decrease in the previous month. PCs, diodes & transistors and parts of ICs declined by 22.7%, 22.5% and 41.7% respectively, contributing the most to the decrease in electronic domestic exports.

Non-electronic NODX grew by 11.9% in September, following the 7.8% rise in the previous month. Pharmaceuticals (+67.5%), non-monetary gold (+23.7%) and food preparations (+33.9%) contributed the most to the growth in non-electronic NODX.

NODX to the top 10 markets as a whole grew in September, although shipments to China, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong declined. The largest contributors to the NODX increase were the US (+41.5%), the EU 28 (+21.6%) and Thailand (+46.8%).

Non-oil re-exports (NORX) expanded by 13.3% in September, after the 14.1% growth in August; non-electronic re-exports increased, while electronics decreased.

On a y-o-y basis, electronic NORX declined by 0.4% in September, after the 1.2% rise in August. The decrease in electronic NORX was due to disk media products (-45.8%), parts of PCs (-9.1%) and disk drives (-24.6%).

Non-electronic NORX expanded by 28.4% in September, following the 29.6% rise in August 2018. The growth in non-electronic NORX was due to non-electric engines & motors (+134.5%), non-monetary gold (+158.1%) and aircraft parts (+58.5%).

Total trade rose over the year in September, supported by both import and export growth.

In a report by Maybank KimEng, lead analyst Chua Hak Bin says 3Q trade volumes may have been distorted by the escalating US-China trade war, as companies frontloaded exports before tariff increases. This is why NORX surged 12% in 3Q18, the fastest pace recorded in 4.5 years.

"With half of US-China bilateral trade hit with tariffs from Sept 24, we think Singapore’s trade numbers will start slowing in 4Q and early 2019. We recently downgraded our GDP forecast to +3.4% for 2018 and +2.2% for 2019, in view of the downside risks from the escalating trade war," says Chua.