Singapore April Exports Unexpectedly Contract as Pharmaceuticals Drag

Singapore's key non-oil domestic exports unexpectedly contracted in April as a decline in shipments of non-electronic goods, particularly pharmaceutical drugs, offset a modest gain in electronics exports.

Exports of goods made in Singapore fell 0.7% in April compared with a year earlier, after a 16.5% increase in March, trade promotion agency International Enterprise Singapore said Wednesday. The decline came after five consecutive months of gains.

The median estimate of six economists in a poll by The Wall Street Journal was for April exports to expand 13.8% from a year earlier.

Electronics exports rose 4.8% compared with a year earlier, after a 5.2% rise in March. But that was offset by a 2.9% decline in non-electronics shipments after a 20.8% rise in the previous month.

The highly volatile pharmaceutical exports fell 39.9% from a year ago in April, after growing 17.7% in the previous month.

Compared with the previous month, exports fell 9.0% in seasonally adjusted terms, after contracting 1.1% on month in March. Economists in the poll had projected a median 2.0% expansion in April.

The city-state's shipments to China, its biggest export destination, rose 10.9% from a year earlier in April, slowing from a 45.5% rise in the previous month, IE Singapore said.

Exports to the European Union fell 36% from a year earlier, reversing a 10% gain in March. Exports to the U.S. fell 9.6% from a year earlier in April, after the previous month's 1.8% increase.

Write to Gaurav Raghuvanshi at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 16, 2017 20:45 ET (00:45 GMT)