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Singapore Trade January 2023

Singapore: Non-oil domestic exports slide in January year on year, but tick up in monthly terms

Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) plummeted 25.0% on an annual basis in January, following December’s 20.6% plunge. January’s figure marked the worst contraction since February 2013, and was driven by lower electronics and non-electronics exports. Falling shipments to China, Hong Kong and the U.S. were the key drivers behind January’s weak reading. More positively, in seasonally-adjusted month-on-month terms, NODX exports rose 0.9% in January, compared to December’s 2.9% decrease.

Looking ahead, exports should improve sequentially as China’s economy gains steam. That said, weaker developed-economy demand and a maturing global semiconductor cycle will tame the recovery. Together with a tough base effect, these two factors will likely cause NODX to continue declining in annual terms in the next several months.

United Overseas Bank’s Alvin Lew commented:

“We continue to expect global demand to head towards a downturn on the back of more aggressive monetary policy tightening and worries about economic slowdown in the developed markets. […] The cracks in the export outlook are ever more visible now with the persistent and deeper y/y contractions. We are likely to see a few more months of y/y declines in NODX for 1H 2023 before factoring some improvement in the second half of the year.”

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