Sep 2021 Trade

  • NODX growth accelerated to 12.3% yoy in Sep 21, beating our and consensus estimates, accompanied by a sequential 1.3% mom SA growth.
  • Global chip shortages buoyed electronics’ 14.4% yoy growth, with ICs and diodes & transistors, contributing to over 50% of electronic growth this year.
  • Petrochemicals make up nearly 30% of total NODX growth this year as it continues to recover after declining amid a global downcycle (2020: -21%).

NODX registered 10th consecutive month of yoy gains

The non-oil domestic exports (NODX) grow th accelerated to 12.3% yoy (vs. +2.7% yoy in Aug 21) in Sep 21, beating our and consensus estimates. On a seasonally-adjusted (SA) basis, the NODX managed to reverse two consecutive months of sequential decline to rise by 1.3% mom SA in Sep (vs. -3.5% mom SA in Aug). Both electronic and non-electronic NODX grew yoy and mom SA in Sep.

ICs the top contributor to electronic NODX growth so far this year

Growth in electronic NODX decelerated to 14.4% yoy in Sep (vs. +16.7% yoy in Aug), contributing 3.5% pts to Sep NODX grow th. Top contributors to the growth in electronic products w ere integrated circuits (ICs) (+7.0% yoy in Sep vs. +20.2% yoy in Aug), PCs (+45.4% yoy in Sep vs. +14.4% yoy in Aug), and telecom equipment (+45.4% yoy in Sep vs. +8.8% yoy in Aug). The worldwide shortage of semiconductors that has been going on for almost 12 months now first began with automobiles, but eventually spilled into other goods such as consumer electronics. Bloomberg reported last week that the shortage has reached 2020’s largest chip buyer, Apple Inc., who is likely to slash its production of new iPhone models by over 10% this year. ICs were the top contributor to electronic NODX in 9M21, demonstrating Singapore’s importance in the global supply chain.

Petrochem a significant driver of growth amid downcycle recovery

Non-electronic products managed to rebound from its 1.4% yoy contraction in Aug to rise 11.7% yoy in Sep. The expansion was driven by growth in petrochemicals (+52.8% yoy), specialised machinery (+34.9% yoy), and pharmaceuticals (+27.3% yoy). Petrochemicals make up nearly 30% of all NODX growth so far this year, driven by the recovery after declining amid a global downcycle (2019: -15%, 2020: -21%). Meanwhile, specialised machinery used in the production of chips remains hot as producers attempt to ramp up production amid eye-watering lead times.

NODX to the top 10 markets accelerated in-line with overall NODX

NODX to the top 10 markets accelerated in-line w ith overall NODX in Sep, rising 12.3% yoy, (vs. +3.9% yoy in Aug). The largest contributors to the rise in NODX were China, the US, and South Korea, rising 38.9%, 22.2%, and 61.6% yoy respectively, with their top imports being roughly ICs (China: +47.0%, South Korea: +212.6%), and specialised machinery (US: +161.2%, South Korea: +167.7%). Malaysia (-4.1% yoy) and Thailand (-7.5% yoy) both slipped into contractions in Sep. NODX to the EU 27 plunged even further, contracting by 37.4% yoy in Sep vs. a 20.0% contraction the month before that.