Singapore's petrochemical exports rise by 51.2% in June

Author: Nurluqman Suratman

2021/07/16

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore's petrochemical exports rose by 51.2% year on year to Singapore dollar (S$) 1.33bn in June, supporting the strong growth in overall non-oil domestic exports (NODX), official data showed on Friday.

The continued expansion in overall exports and NODX underlines the continued recovery in global trade demand.

The June expansion marks the seventh straight month of growth for Singapore's petrochemical exports and follows the 55.6% year-on-year rise in May this year.

Petrochemical shipments to China rose by 12.4% year on year while shipments of primary chemicals surged more than fivefold in June, Enterprise Singapore said in a statement.

The country's NODX rose by 15.9% year on year to S$16.3bn in June, accelerating from the 8.6% expansion in May, marking the seventh straight month of expansion.

"The expansion in NODX was against a relatively strong performance in June 2020, underlining the continued recovery of global trade flows," Singapore-based UOB Global Economics & Markets Research said in note on Friday.

"NODX growth was at a relatively high base of 13.9% year on year in June 2020, and in value terms, at S$14.0bn which is higher compared 2019’s average of S$13.8bn," it said.

Across Singapore’s key trading partners, NODX expanded in seven out of 10 destinations.

NODX to Hong Kong surged by 47.7% year on year in June, the fastest pace since November 2016 while shipments to Taiwan rose by 41.4%, the strongest since April 2017.

However, shipments to Japan continued to fall for its seventh straight month by 22.6% year on year, followed by the US which clocked its sixth straight month of decline.

Non-electronic NODX, which includes pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals, rose by 13.2% year on year to S$12.3bn.

Non-electronic NODX to China rose by 29.9% year on year in June while those to the EU and Taiwan were up by 37.6% and 42.1%, respectively.

Overall exports rose by 22.3% year on year in June to S$49.7bn, a moderation from the 30.9% expansion in the previous month.

Imports rose by 28.3% year on year to S$45bn in June, slowing down from the 32.2% expansion in May.

"We continue to expect that Singapore’s external-facing industries will benefit from the continued recovery of the global trade wind, while higher commodity prices may provide the fillip to overall export value ahead," UOB said.

Coupled with the improving global economic backdrop, the uptick in semiconductor demand and rising oil prices are strong drivers to lift Singapore’s export momentum this year, it said.

"Still, Singapore’s economic outlook will depend on the COVID-19 situation, and any exacerbation seen from the recent discovery of new clusters could inject risks to Singapore’s overall growth prognosis," UOB added.

Focus article and interactive by Nurluqman Suratman