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Singapore Trade Balance October 2020

Singapore: Non-oil exports unexpectedly contract in October

Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) fell 3.1% on an annual basis in October (September: +5.8% year-on-year). October’s drop marked the first contraction since May and fell well short of market expectations. The downturn was broad-based, with non-electronic and electronic exports both falling in the month. In terms of markets, exports to most regional Asian partners contracted, while growth in sales to the U.S. and Japan softened the overall decline.

In seasonally-adjusted month-on-month terms, NODX exports fell 5.3% in October, following September’s 11.4% decrease.

Regarding the outlook, Barnabas Gan, economist at UOB, commented:

“All-in-all, the level of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic remains substantial, and could continue to cloud Singapore’s trade prospects should global infection rates spike unexpectedly. Nonetheless, given the year-to-date gains in NODX of 5.0% and a low base of comparison in 4Q20, we keep to our view for NODX to grow by 4.0% in 2020 with upside risks.”

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