No escaping the Lunar Year distortions.
The prediction from Maybank Kim Eng came as Singapore non-oil domestic exports (NODX) regained some strength in January, growing 0.5% yoy on the back of a petrochemicals surge.
Here's more from Maybank Kim Eng:
NODX in Jan 2013 rebounded moderately by +0.5% YoY (Dec 2012: -16.3% YoY; Consensus: +3.0% YoY) non-electronic exports grew by +3.7% YoY (Dec 2012: -14.8% YoY) to offset continued decline in electronic shipments (Jan 2013: -5.6% YoY Dec 2012: -19.1% YoY). From the previous month, NODX grew by+7.3% (Dec 2012: -7.3%), while the seasonally adjusted data reported a contraction of -1.8% MoM (s.a. Dec 2012: -4.2% MoM).
Non-electronic exports boosted by Petrochemicals which surged by +28.2% YoY (Dec 2012: +4.7% YoY) marking the highest growth rate recorded in 23 months. Pharmaceuticals shipments in the meantime fell for a second month in a row by -22.9% YoY (Dec 2012: -11.5% YoY). NODX excluding Pharmaceuticals expanded of +4.3% YoY (Dec 2012: -16.9% YoY)
Electronic exports off its recent low but still down from a year ago. Shipments of electronic declined -5.6% YoY (Dec 2012: -19.1% YoY) but advanced on a % MoM basis by +5.9% (Dec 2012: -6.2% MoM) as export values moved up to SGD4.67b last month from its lowest point in almost two-years of SGD4.41b in Dec 2012). Integrated Circuits (IC’s) continued to be the biggest drag followed by Parts of PC’s but there was some respite with the rebound in Disk Drives and Parts of IC’s.
Demand from most of Asia helped to prop up NODX. Shipments to China rose by +18.0% YoY (Dec 2012: -1.2% YoY) on the back of stronger exports of petrochemicals, IC’s and parts of IC’s. Other major contributors included Taiwan (Jan 2013: +25.5% YoY; Dec 2012: -5.2% YoY), Japan (Jan 2013: +8.8% YoY; Dec 2012: -15.2% YoY) and Indonesia (Jan 2013: +8.6% YoY; Dec 2012: -10.3% YoY). Shipments to Malaysia recovered (Jan 2013: +7.1% YoY; Dec 2012: -20.0% YoY) to end a seven month streak of declines. Exports to EU which had previously been the largest destination slipped to second place behind China as it fell by -18.4% YoY (Dec 2012: -7.3% YoY). Other major drags to Jan 2013’s NODX were US (Jan 2013: -14.1% YoY; Dec 2012: -27.7% YoY), Thailand (Jan 2013: -24.0% YoY; Dec 2012: -0.9% YoY) and Hong Kong (Jan 2013: -12.7% YoY; Dec 2012: -15.1% YoY)
Positive signal from PMI but expects volatile NODX figures in the first 2-3 months of the year. Singapore’s manufacturing PMI returned to above-50 last month (Jan 2013: 50.2; Dec 2012: 48.6), the first time in seven months on the back of the rebound in New Exports Orders (Jan 2013: 50.7; Dec 2012: 47.4) and New Exports Orders for Electronics (Jan 2013: 50.4; Dec 2012: 43.4). Nonetheless, the figures in the first 2-3 months of the year will be volatile due to the usual seasonal factor i.e. Lunar New Year holidays.
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