Growth in Singapore factory output slows to 3.4% in March as pharma production falls

SINGAPORE – Growth in Singapore’s manufacturing output slowed in March after a robust efficiency in February, on the again of a fall in pharmaceutical production.

While progress eased, it marks the sixth straight month of growth, information from the Economic Development Board (EDB) confirmed on Tuesday (April 26).

Factory output elevated 3.4 per cent final month on a year-on-year foundation, down from the revised 17.5 per cent progress in February.

This is greater than the two per cent progress forecast by analysts in a Bloomberg ballot.Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 9.7 per cent yr on yr, down from the 16.6 per cent progress in February.

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month foundation, manufacturing output shrank 12.6 per cent in March. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 6.1 per cent.

UOB stated in a observe that the sturdy exhibiting in the manufacturing sector is underpinned by the worldwide commerce restoration and the reopening of borders.

Mr Song Seng Wun, economist at CIMB Private Banking, added that the manufacturing numbers spotlight the resilience of the buyer.

He expects financial actions to normalise additional and stated readings of mid-single digit progress are extra reflective of those regular occasions.

Taking a better take a look at the totally different clusters, the important thing electronics sector noticed output develop 14.5 per cent in March in contrast with a yr in the past. All segments recorded progress, aside from laptop peripherals and information storage, which dipped 4.3 per cent.

Within electronics, the semiconductor phase recorded the strongest efficiency of 17.3 per cent, after the 39 per cent progress in February. 
The sector continues to be supported by sustained demand from 5G markets and information centres amid the worldwide chip scarcity, EDB stated.

Mr Song stated if not for the chip scarcity, the sector might have logged in a fair stronger efficiency.

Data from the area confirmed Asia-Pacific semiconductor gross sales hovering 41.4 per cent on-year in February, the best progress since June 2010.

The worst performer was the risky biomedical manufacturing cluster, whose output fell 26.3 per cent in March, reversing from a 26.1 per cent rise in February.


March’s decline additionally marked the sharpest fall in the sector since September 2021, when biomedical output fell 35.8 per cent year-on-year.

The key drag was the prescribed drugs phase, which shrank 39 per cent due to a unique mixture of energetic pharmaceutical substances being produced, stated EDB.

The medical expertise phase contracted 7.1 per cent due to decrease export demand for medical gadgets, it added.

Economists, like Mr Song, stay optimistic in regards to the biomed sector, as it’s a very high-value-added exercise.

He added that Singapore stays a pretty location for vaccine makers and the biomed trade to make investments and broaden their output, regardless that it’s by no means the most cost effective place for them.

Last week, French healthcare firm Sanofi broke floor on its vaccine facility right here.
Other gamers which have manufacturing services right here embrace German agency BioNTech and India-based Hilleman Laboratories, a three way partnership between pharmaceutical agency Merck and charitable basis Wellcome Trust.

The different notable sector efficiency this month was the transport engineering sector. Output elevated 20.7 per cent yr on yr in March, led by the aerospace phase, which grew for the third straight month.

The 39.3 per cent rise in aerospace was underpinned by greater production of plane components and the rise in upkeep, restore and overhaul actions as international journey demand recovers progressively.

There have been additionally extra offshore venture actions in March, which led to the 7.9 per cent year-on-year rise in the marine and offshore engineering phase.

Other clusters that noticed progress in March embrace the overall manufacturing and chemical compounds sectors. Chemicals output grew 0.8 per cent yr on yr in March, whereas basic manufacturing output rose 10.2 per cent.

However, the precision engineering cluster noticed output lower 1.4 per cent in March.

The equipment and methods phase fell 0.5 per cent due to the excessive production base a yr in the past, whereas the precision modules and elements phase contracted 2.9 per cent with decrease production of optical merchandise and wire and cable merchandise.

According to EDB, precision engineering is the spine of the manufacturing trade as a result of it provides essential merchandise and experience wanted to manufacture complicated elements and gear used in varied industries, together with the semiconductor, medical expertise and marine and offshore industries.

With the most recent industrial production information, Singapore’s manufacturing progress has clocked 7.1 per cent year-on-year progress in the primary quarter of 2022.

The manufacturing sector is a big contributor to Singapore’s economic system, accounting for 20 per cent of gross home product.

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