Singapore non-oil domestic exports, or NODX, rebounded strongly in February, backed by a recovery in overseas demand for its electronic products as well as a surge in pharmaceutical shipments.
Data released by the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore showed Friday that NODX surged 30.5 percent annually in February, bouncing back from 2.4 percent contraction in the previous month. Economists had forecast a 16.2 percent increase.
On a month-on-month seasonally adjusted basis, NODX grew 6.2 percent, after the previous month's marginal expansion of 0.5 percent.
Compared to February last year, exports to all of the top ten markets increased. The top three contributors to the NODX rise in February were the US, Hong Kong and Thailand, according to the trade promotion agency.
Shipments to the US climbed 48 percent year-on-year, reversing a 5.4 percent drop in January. Demand from Hong Kong also recorded strong rebound, growing 57.3 percent in February after 1.7 percent fall in the preceding month.
Exports to Thailand grew 73 percent following 25.9 percent expansion. Demand from the European Union countries also recovered and recorded a 11.9 percent rise after 14.5 percent contraction in January.
Exports of electronic products rose 23 percent year-on-year, reversing the previous month's 11 percent contraction. Demand for non-electronic products increased 34 percent after the 2.8 percent rise in the previous month. The increase in non-electronic NODX was led by overseas sales of structures of ships and boats , pharmaceuticals and specialised machinery, the agency said.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry said last month that Singapore's external-oriented sectors will face a challenging environment going forward. The Ministry forecasts the economy to expand 1-3 percent this year, slower than 4.9 percent growth in 2011.
During the final three months of 2011, the economy contracted 2.5 percent quarter-on-quarter after 2 percent growth in the third quarter. During the period, the manufacturing sector contracted due to poor global demand for Singapore's semiconductor chips.
IE Singapore said that Singapore's overall exports grew 25 percent in February, while imports were 27 percent higher. Total exports rose 1.5 percent month-on-month but imports fell 12 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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