Singapore's petchem exports fall by 35% in July; NODX down 10.6%

17 August 2016 05:28 Source:ICIS News

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SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Singapore’s exports of petrochemicals slumped by 35% year on year to Singapore dollar (S$) 997.5m ($744m) in July, tracking the overall decline in non-oil domestic exports (NODX), official data showed on Wednesday.

The country’s NODX fell by 10.6% year on year to S$12.6bn in July, compared with the 2.4% contraction seen in the preceding month, according to International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.

“While one can argue that this is an improvement from the…previous month, the point to note is that it remains stuck in the red and it once again underscores the challenging economic conditions in the external environment,” said Singapore-based DBS Group Research in its daily note.

“If [Singapore’s] exports fall further and drag the manufacturing sector down, then a quarterly contraction in GDP could be on the cards,” it said.

Singapore’s government earlier this month lowered its GDP forecast for 2016 to between 1 and 2%, narrowing an earlier projection of between 1 to 3% growth, amid uncertainties arising from the UK’s vote to exit from the EU and a weak global growth forecast.

Non-electronic NODX, which includes pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals, fell by 9.5% year on year to S$8.72bn in July.

Petrochemical shipments to China fell by 26.7% year on year in July while those to Indonesia slumped by 48.2%.

The country’s overall exports of benzene fell by 96.4% year on year to 2,901.5 tonnes in July, while those of paraxylene (PX) were 22.5% higher.

Shipments of methanol abroad fell by 75.9% year on year to 1,222.7 tonnes while exports of naphtha were 9.91% higher.

Product

July 2016 (tonnes)

July 2015 (tonnes)

% Change YOY

Benzene

2,901.50

80,127.05

-96.38

Toluene

30,831.38

46,854.53

-34.20

Orthoxylene

6,006.53

8,584.51

-30.03

Paraxylene

61,862.63

50,502.44

22.49

Methanol

1,222.70

5,081.60

-75.94

Ethylene Glycol

63,649.60

93,714.00

-32.08

Phenol

14,045.70

11,852.50

18.50

Acetone

13,776.10

17,843.90

-22.80

Ethyl Acetate

7,212.90

8,102.70

-10.98

Vinyl Acetate

31,821.90

35,423.90

-10.17

Polycarbonates

12,461.20

22,770.94

-45.28

Naphtha

88,426.71

80,455.95

9.91

Source: IE Singapore

Meanwhile, Singapore’s NODX to all of its top 10 markets fell except those to the EU in July. (please see table below)

Singapore’s largest export market China has remained a drag on NODX performance, with exports dropping by 9.9% year on year in July.

“This has been an ongoing phenomenon since mid-last year and it once again highlights the effects of China’s slowdown on Singapore. With China’s deceleration being a structural one, such lacklustre NODX performance could last for a while,” DBS added.


(S$1 = $1.34)

Top image: Containers and container ships in the port of Singapore (Charles Pertwee/REX/Shutterstock)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By Nurluqman Suratman

By Nurluqman Suratman