17 April 2013 07:08 [Source: ICIS news]
(adds details throughout)
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore’s petrochemical exports in March inched up 1.4% year on year to Singapore dollars (S$) 1.13bn ($919m), aided by higher shipment volumes of ethylene glycol and orthoxylene, official data showed on Wednesday.
Shipments of acetone last month jumped 77.4% year on year to 16,541 tonnes, while those of orthoxylene (OX) surged 83.8% to 4,398 tonnes, official data indicated.
Export volumes of aromatics products declined, with benzene shipments down 65.3% to 2,001 tonnes in March.
Singapore’s toluene shipments edged 0.54% lower to 22,229 tonnes, while paraxylene (PX) exports slipped 17.7% to 34,427 tonnes, according to IE Singapore. Singapore’s overall exports of chemicals, which include pharmaceuticals, rose 0.8% year on year to S$4.63bn in March, according to IE Singapore.
Pharmaceutical exports recorded a 2.9% increase to S$2.25bn.
But higher petrochemical and pharmaceutical shipments were offset by a sharp decline in electronics exports, bringing Singapore’s overall non-oil domestic exports (NODX) to S$14.8bn in March, down 4.8% year on year, according to official data.
Non-electronic NODX was up 2.3% at S$10.3bn, while electronic NODX fell by 17.9% to S$4.52bn.
On a year-on-year comparison, shipments to all of the top 10 NODX markets, except Japan and China, decreased in March.
The top three contributors to the NODX contraction last month were the EU-27, Malaysia and the US.
On a month-on-month basis, however, the March NODX represents a strong improvement from a 30.6% contraction recorded in February, when trading activities came to a virtual halt because of the Lunar New Year holidays.
The upswing in March was partly a “technical payback” due to the increase in pharmaceutical exports. The synchronised plant closures in February this year have affected overall production as producers switched to different product mixes, said Singapore-based DBS Group Research.
“And when productions resume, they usually come back with a vengeance. This will surely help to ease some of the earlier concerns about the weak GDP growth in the current quarter,” the research firm said.
The Singapore economy shrank an annual 0.6% in the first quarter of this year against the 1.5% growth recorded in the preceding quarter, weighed by a contraction in the manufacturing sector, according to the latest advance estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The manufacturing cluster, which makes up a quarter of the city-state’s economy, declined 6.5% in the March quarter.
($1 = S$1.23)
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections