Singapore April exports blow past expectations on stronger pharma
* April NODX boosted by pharmaceuticals exports
* Electronics exports continue to fall
(Adds comments from economists)
SINGAPORE, May 17 (Reuters) - Singapore's exports rose
sharply in April, beating expectations, thanks to a surge in
pharmaceuticals sales, however, shipments of electronics goods,
a source of trade strength for much of last year, continued
Non-oil domestic exports (NODX) increased 11.8 percent in
April from a year earlier, after falling for two straight
months, data from government agency Enterprise Singapore showed,
beating the median 5.4 percent rise predicted in a Reuters
Economists, however, questioned the sustainability of the
growth that was led by shipments of pharmaceuticals, a sector
known to be volatile.
Pharmaceuticals exports jumped 43.7 percent from a year
earlier, while electronics exports fell 6.9 percent, marking a
fifth straight month of decline.
"The preference is to have more broad-based growth, rather
than wild swings in different sectors on a month-to-month
basis," said Selena Ling, economist at OCBC Bank.
She said electronics exports could continue to fall in May,
partly due to a high base-effect from last year.
A global exports boom benefited Singapore and other
trade-dependent Asian economies last year, particularly for
makers of electronics products and components such as
UOB economist Francis Tan said he had not expected such a
long run of decline in electronics exports.
"Don't be too optimistic about the above-consensus actual
numbers from NODX," he said.
Exports to China rose 26.8 percent and those to the United
States increased 37.8 percent in April.
On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, exports rose
6.5 percent in April. The median forecast was a decline of 0.2
Experts said simmering trade tensions between the United
States and China remained a concern for Singapore exports.
(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and Masayuki Kitano
Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Sam Holmes)
First Published: 2018-05-17 02:30:01
Updated 2018-05-17 03:45:14
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