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Singapore Trade Balance March 2021

Singapore: Non-oil exports surge in March

Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) grew 12.1% year-on-year in March (February: +4.2% yoy). March’s result marked the fourth straight month of growth and far exceeded market expectations of a 1.0% rise. March’s higher reading was primarily driven by strong growth in petrochemicals, machinery and pharmaceuticals exports. In terms of markets, exports to China, Malaysia and Taiwan grew in a sign of continued strength in regional demand, while exports fell to Japan and the U.S.

In seasonally-adjusted month-on-month terms, NODX exports rose 1.2% in March, slowing from February’s 8.3% increase.

Looking ahead, Euben Paracuelles and Charnon Boonnuch, economists at Nomura, are optimistic regarding export growth in 2021:

“We expect NODX growth to remain robust in coming months, in line with our view of a more synchronized pick-up in global growth, a sustained tech upcycle and global vaccine manufacturing benefiting pharmaceuticals output further. [March’s] strong NODX data confirm that the economic recovery is proceeding robustly, helped by solid external demand, which we believe is likely to strengthen further in coming quarters.”

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