The FINANCIAL -- Singapore's key non-oil exports unexpectedly fell in May as a decline in electronics and chemical shipments weighed on a tepid rise in other items, according to Nasdaq.
Exports of goods made in Singapore fell 0.2% in May compared with a year earlier, after rising 2.2% in April, trade promotion agency International Enterprise Singapore said on June 17.
The median estimate of five economists in a Dow Jones Newswires poll was for May exports to expand 4.0% from a year earlier.
Compared with the previous month, exports fell 3.1% in seasonally adjusted terms, after contracting 8.6% on month in April. Three economists in the poll had projected a median 3.0% contraction in May.
The city-state's shipments to China, its biggest export destination, fell 4.3% in May from a year earlier, compared with a 5.1% on-year fall in the previous month, IE Singapore said.
Exports to the European Union fell 5.6% on year after rising 11.4% in April. Exports to the U.S., however, grew 18.1% after the previous month's 8.3% decrease.
Electronics exports declined 2.5% on year, after falling 4.0% in April, while non-electronics shipments grew 0.8%, compared with a 4.7% rise in April.
In the non-electronics sector, chemicals shipments fell 3.8% in May, compared with a 0.8% fall in April. Chemicals, which comprise pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals, are now the biggest export item in Singapore's basket.
Exports from the highly unpredictable pharmaceuticals sector fell 0.7%, after growing 7.5% in the previous month. Petrochemicals fell 14.7% in May, compared with a 9.1% decline in April amid low global crude-oil prices.