Singapore’s exports fell again last month, but at almost half their previous rate of contraction.

Non-oil exports fell 7.9 per cent year on year in April, according to Statistics Singapore. That was a softer fall than economists’ consensus forecast of -8.4 per cent for the period, and a vast improvement over March’s drop of -15.7 per cent.

International Enterprise Singapore – a government body tasked with promoting international trade – attributed the headline figure’s year-on-year contraction to a decline during the period in exports of electronics such as PCs and PC components (down more than 21 and 23 per cent, respectively) as well as falls in ship structures and boats (-94.3 per cent), petrochemicals (-16.7 per cent) and engineering equipment parts (-54 per cent).

Non-oil direct exports fell to all markets except the European Union and Hong Kong, with shipments to Taiwan, South Korea and Indonesia all falling more than 20 per cent year on year.

In month-to-month terms, non-oil exports were up 4.5 per cent in April, accelerating from the previous month’s marginal growth of 0.2 per cent.

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