Uncertain outlook for Singapore's export sector

Uncertain outlook for Singapore's export sector

SINGAPORE - The broad-based decline in Singapore's exports last month signals that the sector might remain mired in a rough patch for the rest of this year.

The latest trade data from trade agency IE Singapore yesterday painted a grim picture: Exports dived 8.8 per cent last month, as both electronics and non-electronics shipments sagged.

This marked the fifth straight month of decline for exports and disappointed economists' expectations of a much smaller 5.8 per cent dip.

OCBC Bank economist Selena Ling said the export sector "still faces strong headwinds in terms of tepid global demand conditions".

Exports have now dipped in seven of the last eight months, she noted.

Of particular concern was the prolonged weakness of electronics exports, which have posted frequent double-digit falls so far this year despite the relatively low base of last year, Ms Ling added.

Electronics exports shrank 12.4 per cent in June compared with the previous year, largely due to lower demand for integrated circuits, PC components and disk media products, IE said.

Non-electronics exports dropped 7.1 per cent, led by fewer shipments of pharmaceuticals, structures of ships and boats, and specialised machinery.

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