Unexpected decline in September Singapore exports on dull demand for petrochem, electronics

Singapore’s exports had an unexpected fall in September as weakening expansion in the world’s leading economies eroded demand for electronics and petrochemicals. Non-oil domestic exports fell 4.5% from a year earlier, after a revised 3.9% increase in August. As per Bloomberg, Singapore lowered its growth forecast for 2011 last week and said the island’s expansion may slow further next year as the European debt crisis and a faltering U.S. recovery damp demand for goods made in Asia. China’s exports rose the least in seven months in September, while South Korean shipments climbed at the slowest pace in three months. “We expect a rough patch ahead for the economy,” Irvin Seah, an economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Singapore, said before the report. “Against the backdrop of a deteriorating external outlook and judging from the broad-based decline in global purchasing managers’ indices, ex-biomedical manufacturing production will most likely continue to decline.” Gross domestic product may increase 5% this year, compared with an earlier forecast range of 5-6%, the trade ministry said last week. Electronics cluster is expected to remain weak due to the easing of global electronics demand. Non-electronics shipments, which include petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, increased 0.9%. Petrochemicals exports dropped 8%, while pharmaceutical shipments climbed 12.5% after falling 7.1% in August.
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