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Singapore’s total external trade contracted by 28 percent in the first quarter of 2009 over the same period last year, after the 9.6 percent decline in the previous quarter, official data showed on Thursday.
According to the trade-promotion agency International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the level of total trade reached 165 billion Singapore dollars (about 113 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three months of the year. Both total exports and total imports declined by 28 percent in the first quarter of 2009 over the same period last year.
The 28 percent year-on-year contraction in total trade in the first quarter was larger than expected and can be attributed to “the synchronized slowdown in global demand,” said IE Singapore, adding that “both oil and non-oil trade declined simultaneously in the first quarter of 2009 with oil trade dragged down by low oil prices.”
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonal adjusted basis, Singapore’s total external trade declined by 14 percent in 2009, at a slower pace than the 18 percent contraction in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The country’s key non-oil domestic exports (NODX) decreased by 26 percent in the first quarter of 2009 over the same period of 2008, due to lower shipments of electronic and non-electronic NODX.
The Singapore government projected on April 14 this year that the total trade growth in 2009 to be between minus 25 and minus 22 percent, and the forecast for NODX growth in 2009 is between minus13 and minus 10 percent.
“The forecast is maintained at this juncture.” IE Singapore said.