17 December 2012 05:20 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore exported about S$1.1bn ($902m) worth of petrochemicals in November, largely unchanged from October, while the country’s overall non-domestic oil exports declined 2.5% year on year, official data showed on Monday.
The city-state’s on-oil domestic exports totalled Singapore dollar (S$) 14bn in November, down by a seasonally adjusted 0.3% from October, according to International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.
Among the petrochemicals products, ethylene glycol generated the biggest export revenue at S$109.1m, followed by paraxylene (PX) at S$82m and then by polycarbonates (PC) at S$81m, official data showed.
Singapore’s overall shipments to seven of its 10 major markets declined in November, with the steepest declines recorded in Hong Kong at 15.3%, Malaysia 16.7% and the US at 7%.
To Thailand, China and the EU, Singapore’s exports grew 14.3%, 9.4% and 0.5%, respectively, according to official statistics.
External demand has remained weak with the eurozone in the throes of a debt crisis and the US economy still struggling to recover, dimming the growth prospects of Asia, which is heavily reliant on exports.
Total trade in Singapore shrank 3.6% year on year in November, with exports down 2.7% and imports also down by 4.5%, IE Singapore data showed.
Singapore has shaved down its full-year 2012 non-oil domestic oil exports forecast to 2-3%, anticipating a deceleration in overall trade growth to 3-4%.
In a separate development, Singapore and the EU have successfully concluded talks on a free trade agreement over the weekend.
“The EUSFTA [European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement] will be signed after all domestic processes, including translations and verifications, are completed,” the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement released on Sunday.
Under the deal, the EU will remove tariffs on all imports from Singapore over a five-year period, benefitting exporters of electronics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and processed food products, the MTI said.
Singapore, on the other hand, will grant immediate duty-free access for all imports from the EU, it said.
Bilateral trade between Singapore and the EU totalled S$106bn last year, up 7% from 2010. The EU was Singapore’s second largest trading partner, while
Singapore was the EU’s thirteenth largest trading partner, according to the ministry.
"Singapore is a dynamic market for EU companies and is a vital hub for doing business across Southeast Asia. This agreement is key to unlocking the gateway to the region and can be a catalyst for growth for EU exporters," said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht in the MTI statement.
"After our agreement with South Korea, sealing this deal with Singapore clearly puts the EU on the map in Asia. But we do not intend to stop here – I hope it will open the doors for FTAs with other countries in the ASEAN region," he added.
($1 = €0.76 / $1 = S$1.22)
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