Manufacturing output of the country grew in May

Manufacturing output of the country grew in May

Singapore’s manufacturing output grew for a seventh consecutive month in May, increasing 30 percent year-on-year, official data showed on Friday.

This is the biggest increase since November 2010, Reuters reported, and outpaced the previous month’s 2.1 percent.

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew 29 percent year-on-year in May.

Due in part to the “circuit breaker” measures in place in May last year, said the Economic Development Board (EDB).

On a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis, manufacturing output increased 7.2 percent in May, data showed.

Increase in manufacturing output

All clusters saw year-on-year increases in May, headlined by precision engineering, which grew 58.6 percent.

This was led by the machinery and systems segment, which rose 73.4 percent on account of higher production of semiconductor equipment to cater to the “strong capital investment in the global semiconductor industry”, said EDB.

The precision modules and components segment also rose 30.4 percent, as production of optical products, metal precision components and plastic precision products increased.

The transport engineering cluster expanded 44 percent year-on-year in May, with the marine and offshore engineering segment growing 71 percent.

This was due to domestic circuit breaker measures and movement restrictions at foreign worker dormitories that “adversely affected” production last year, said EDB.

The aerospace segment grew 21.3 percent from a low base last year due to the grounding of aircrafts amid travel restrictions brought on by COVID-19.

Biomedical manufacturing output increased 35.6 percent year-on-year in May.

The medical technology segment grew 47.6 percent on the back of higher export demand for medical devices.

While the pharmaceutical segment saw a 38 percent rise with the increase in production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and biological products.

General manufacturing output rose 27.8 percent year-on-year in May, with miscellaneous industries growing 96.1 percent from a low base last year.

When many of the construction related industries had to either stop or reduce production due to circuit breaker measures. The printing segment also grew 8.7 percent.

Electronics cluster expanded 23.2 percent year-on-year in May, as all segments recorded a higher level of production. 

The semiconductors segment grew 25.5 percent, supported by demand from 5G markets and a low production base last year, EDB said.

Chemicals output increased 16.2 percent year-on-year in May, with all segments also recording output growth.

Source: Channes News Asia

Airline sector sees a rebound for the first time in a year

Airline sector sees a rebound for the first time in a year

After flying into the financial turbulence of the pandemic, the airline sector expects passenger traffic to take off despite concerns about the industry’s impact on climate change.

In its latest look at trends for the airline sector, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

It doesn’t expect world air traffic to resume to its pre-pandemic level before 2023.

But over 20 years, air traffic should almost double, from 4.5 billion passengers in 2019 to 8.5 billion in 2039.

That is, however, a drop of one billion passengers from IATA’s pre-crisis forecast.

Nevertheless, that will be good news for aircraft manufacturers.

Who slowed down production during the crisis as the airline sector cancelled orders to stay financially afloat.

Airbus has already announced it plans to step up the manufacturing cadence of its best-selling A320 single-aisle aircraft.

And should reach a record level already in 2023.

Boeing, for its part, forecasts that airlines will need 43,110 new aircraft through 2039, which will result in a near doubling of the global fleet. Asia alone will account for 40 percent of that demand.

As with the Sep11 attacks or the global financial crisis of 2007-2009,

“the industry will prove resilient again”, Darren Hulst, vice president of marketing at Boeing, said last year.

Marc Ivaldi, research director at the Paris-based School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, noted that only 1 percent of the population currently uses air travel.

“With the simple demographic rise and the fact that people become richer there will be rising demand for air travel and thus for aircraft,” he told AFP.

If the biggest aircraft fleets are currently in the United States and Europe, the biggest increases are expected in Asia and the Middle East, the consulting firm Oliver Wyman said in a recent study.

Source: Channel News Asia

Philippines cuts rice prices to fight inflation

Philippines cuts rice prices to fight inflation

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte reduced the tariff for imported rice on Saturday (May 15).

To ensure food security and protect consumers in the world’s biggest importer of the grain.

Philippines, who is battling elevated inflation, took into consideration the increase in global rice prices and uncertainties in local rice supply.

The president’s office said in a statement.

In an executive order, Duterte cut the Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates on rice to 35 percent from 40 percent for in-quota purchases and 50 percent out-quota volume for one year.

“To diversify the country’s market sources, augment rice supply, maintain prices affordable, and reduce pressures on inflation.”

In January, the agriculture ministry projected the country to import at least 1.7 million tonnes of its staple food this year to fully cover domestic requirements.

It buys more than 90 percent of import requirements from Vietnam.

The Philippines’ paddy rice output rose 2.6 per cent to a record 19.3 million tonnes last year, government data showed. The agriculture ministry targets unmilled rice output at 20.5 million tonnes this year.

More than 20 tropical storms hit the Philippines annually.

With the strongest typhoons destroying crops like rice and corn in the second half, the peak harvest season.

Duterte also tweaked MFN tariff rates for pork products to 10 per cent for in-quota purchases and 20 percent for out-quota volumes for the first three months.

And 15 percent for in-quota and 25 percent for out-quota from the 4th to the 12th month.

The tariffs were higher than previously-announced rates after opposition by the local hog industry.

The government is rushing to address the shortage of pork supply, hit hard by African Swine Fever outbreaks, that has pushed inflation to the high end of the 2 percent to 4 per cent target.

Source: Channel News Asia

Malaysia’s IPI surged 9.3% in March from a year ago

Malaysia’s IPI surged 9.3% in March from a year ago

Malaysia’s industrial production index (IPI) surged 9.3% in March 2021 from a year ago, exceeding a Bloomberg survey of an 8.7%.

As the growth was powered by the manufacturing and electricity segments. This was the strongest growth since July 2013.

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the growth of IPI in March 2021 was driven by the manufacturing index which expanded by 12.7 and electricity index which increased by 10.3%.

However, he said the mining index dropped by 1.9%.

He said manufacturing output continued to expand in March 2021 after recording a growth of 4.5% in February.

The major sub-sectors contributing to the growth in manufacturing sector in March 2021 were transport equipment & other manufactures.

Petroleum, chemical, rubber & plastic products and electrical & electronics products.

Mohd Uzir said the export-oriented industries underpinned the growth of the manufacturing sector by 12.4% while domestic-oriented industries increased by 13.4%.

“The growth of the manufacturing sector was also driven by the high capacity utilisation rate especially in electrical & electronic products and petroleum, chemical, rubber & plastic products sub-sectors.

“In addition, the performance of the manufacturing sector also in line with the notable growth in exports and IPI for some of main trading partners of Malaysia,” he added.

As for the mining sector output dropped 1.9% in March 2021 as compared to the same period of the previous year.

The deterioration was due to the decrease in crude oil & condensate index. The natural gas index grew positively 4.3%.

However, the electricity sector output expanded by 10.3 % in March 2021 from a year ago.

For the first quarter, the IPI increased by 3.9% from a year ago.

The growth was due to the 6.8% expansion in the manufacturing index. The mining and electricity sectors recorded a deterioration of 4.1% and 0.1%.

Source: The Star

Singapore economy is expected to grow a 6% this year

Singapore economy is expected to grow a 6% this year

The Singapore economy, which marked its worst recession in 2020, may be in for a better-than-expected recovery this year on the back of strengthening external demand.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore on Wednesday said the country’s gross domestic product “could exceed 6 percent” in 2021.

Barring a setback in the Singapore economic recovery or a surge in locally transmitted COVID-19 cases.

Near-term economic prospects have brightened on the back of strengthening external demand, said the central bank in its latest half-yearly macroeconomic review.

“There are upside risks to growth such as from a stronger-than-anticipated upturn in the global electronics cycle, but these are accompanied by downside risks pertaining to the mutation of the virus and efficacy of vaccination,” it wrote.

Uneven recovery in Singapore economy

The Singapore economy contracted by an unprecedented 5.4 percent after a coronavirus-hit 2020 and expectations are for a gradual recovery this year.

Preliminary data for the first quarter of 2020 showed a turnaround after three quarters of contraction, with strong manufacturing activity aiding a 0.2 percent expansion. 

The MAS, however, warned that growth is likely to “remain disparate across sectors”.

“The robust GDP estimate belies continued unevenness in the dispersion of the recovery and is accompanied by elevated uncertainty,” it said.

Strong growth is expected for the manufacturing sector, which has been a bright spot over the past year.

As the robust upswing in the global technology cycle continues to boost electronics production.

On the other hand, prospects for the worst-hit sectors, including air transport and accommodation, have “deteriorated somewhat” amid a global surge in COVID-19 infections and the emergence of more contagious strains.

These have diminished hopes for a substantial reopening of international borders in the near term, said the central bank.

Across other sectors, construction activities should be supported by a backlog of projects and an anticipated pick-up in demand this year.

Although manpower shortages and rising material costs are challenges in the near term.

Source: Channel News Asia

Manufacturing output rose 7.6% in March in Singapore

Manufacturing output rose 7.6% in March in Singapore

Singapore’s manufacturing output rose 7.6 percent year-on-year in March for a fifth consecutive month of growth, albeit at a slower pace than the previous months.

March’s expansion follows a 16.5 percent year-on-year increase in February, according to official data released on Monday (Apr 26).

Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output grew by 14.9 percent in March.

Electronics lead the manufacturing output

The key electronics cluster led the growth in March with a 33.7 percent increase in output on a year-on-year basis.

This was attributed to the semiconductors segment expanding 37.8 percent, supported by demand from cloud services, data centers and 5G markets, said the Economic Development Board (EDB).

The computer peripherals and data storage segments also grew 27.4 percent.

Other clusters that saw output growth include chemicals, which expanded 9.5 percent, as well as precision engineering, which rose 5.6 percent.

Biomedical manufacturing output contracted 6.6 percent year-on-year in March, reversing the 22.1 percent increase in February.

The medical technology segment grew 23.3 percent with higher export demand for medical devices. On the other hand, the pharmaceuticals segment declined 9.6 percent with lower output of biological products.

The transport engineering cluster continued its decline, contracting 20.6 percent in March from the same period last year. The general manufacturing cluster fell at a slower pace, at -0.5 percent. 

On a seasonally adjusted month-to-month basis, manufacturing output decreased by 1.7 percent in March. Excluding biomedical manufacturing, output fell 3.2 percent.

Singapore’s economy grew 0.2% in Q1

Singapore’s economy grew by 0.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021.

A turnaround after three quarters of contraction, as the country continued its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2 percent between January and March, extending the 3.8 percent growth in the previous quarter, advance estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

Source: Channel News Asia

China’s economy shows recovery in Q1 of 2021

China’s economy shows recovery in Q1 of 2021

China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a record pace of 18.3% year on year during the Q1 of this year.

As it rebounded from a historic contraction a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Friday.

China recorded a year-on-year contraction of 6.8% in the Q1 of 2020, when the country had to pause its economic activities to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Setting the stage for a dramatic rebound this year.

The official data fell between the estimations range.

Beating the lower forecast of 17.9% from a Nikkei survey

And 18% from a Macquarie poll but weaker than the higher end of 19% from a Reuters poll.

China’s recovery has been led by robust exports, benefiting from the global economic recovery along with greater vaccination efforts and a steady pickup in domestic consumption.

Stronger than the 33.8 % jump seen in the first two months of the year and outperforming the growing pace of industrial output, which registered at 14.1% in March.

In the Q1, online retail of goods grew by 25.8 % from the same period last year, accounting for 21.9% of total retail sales.

Meanwhile, data showed that China’s services sector generated more than 14 trillion yuan in value, reaching 58.3% in the Q1 GDP.

This an expansion from last year’s 54.5%, which vindicates the sector’s pillar role in China’s economy, according to Liu.

Who believes the services sector will get a boost from China’s rising rate of inoculated population and continue to lead China’s economic growth this year.

On a quarterly basis, China’s economic growth rate during the Q1 slowed to 0.6% from a revised 2.6% in the previous quarter.

Due to the wave of new cases right before the Lunar New Year holiday, according to Lu.

Source: The Jakarta Post

Canada pursue free trade agreement with ASEAN

Canada pursue free trade agreement with ASEAN

Canada continues to pursue a multilateral free trade agreement with Southeast Asian nations, and those involved with negotiations say bilateral deals in the region could lead to larger pacts.

The pursuit of a free trade deal with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), began three years ago but has so far harvested no results.

Since, Canada has explored the possibility of entering into bilateral pacts with some of the ASEAN member states – including the launch of consultations for a deal with Indonesia.

Kendal Hembroff, director general of trade policy and negotiations for Foreign Affairs, said a broad agreement is better than a narrower one.

But it “sometimes makes sense to do what you’re able to do at a given point in time.”

Those comments came during a March meeting of the International Trade committee.

In 2017, exploratory talks for a possible Canada-ASEAN trade deal started.

Face-to-face meetings between Canada and ASEAN members continued over the next few years and in 2018, Ottawa did a public consultation on a potential pact.

Twenty of the 49 submissions in that consultation were from agricultural stakeholders.

According to the government, stakeholders overall expressed support for a free trade deal and highlighted:

 “existing barriers for Canadian firms, including high tariffs, sanitary and phytosanitary issues and non-tariff barriers” could be addressed.

Hembroff told committee members Canada continues to pursue a Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement.

“The pandemic has certainly reinforced the importance of an agreement with all of ASEAN, especially as an opportunity to be able to tap into regional supply chains.

That does not preclude us from pursuing the possibility of bilateral agreements with ASEAN member states.

And Canada recently conducted public consultations to seek the views of Canadians on a possible trade agreement with Indonesia,” she said.

Source: Grain News and Glacier Farm Media.

Tourism destination? Singapore’s plans to achieve this

Tourism destination? Singapore’s plans to achieve this

While Singapore will face challenges as it tries to become a sustainable tourism destination, industry players and experts are confident that it can meet such a target.

Mr. Christopher Khoo, the managing director for international tourism consultancy Master Consult Services, said the move would be the “responsible” thing to do.

“I applaud Singapore’s decision to embrace this whole concept of sustainability in tourism, because that’s I think not only the right way to go, it is the responsible thing to do,” he said.

The move is one of the 2030 targets under the green economy – one of the five key pillars in the Singapore Green Plan unveiled earlier this year.

“Ten years from now, we also expect that global tourism will have sprung back into a more vibrant sector.

Tourists will have a greater interest in sustainable travel options, for example, eco-friendly hotels and attractions,” said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing.

“To prepare ourselves for these opportunities, we are transforming Sentosa into a carbon-neutral destination by 2030. Through such efforts, we will strengthen Singapore as an exemplary sustainable tourism destination,” he said.

Said Mr. Khoo: “On the whole, sustainable tourism is something that is becoming increasingly important. In tourism, it’s not something new … Sustainability has become more and more important, people are recognizing the need to be responsible.”

Plans to become Singapore into a tourism destination

According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), there were also 19.1 million visitors to Singapore in 2019, with these visitors spending a total of S$27.1 billion in tourism receipts.

As defined by the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), sustainable tourism should incorporate three main objectives.

These include making “optimal use” of environmental resources as well as helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity. In addition, this form of tourism should also respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, said UNTWO on its website.

It also needs to ensure viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are “fairly distributed”.

Noting that achieving sustainable tourism is a “continuous process”, tourism expert Shirley Tee said that such a destination should also include “curated meaningful experiences” that allow a tourist to understand and be aware of sustainability issues within the community, as well as incorporate activities that promote the destination country’s economy

“Efforts to protect and preserve our economic real estate can also be tied in with our journey towards being a sustainable tourism destination. For instance, ensuring that built-up areas with older buildings and our unique heritage be retained and not discarded due to economic pressure will help us preserve the social and urban fabric of the nation,” added Ms. Tee, who is a senior manager at Nanyang Polytechnic’s (NYP) School of Business Management. 

“This also creates additional sustainable tourism avenues for tourists to visit, and learn more about.”

Source: Channel News Asia

Singapore’s economy rises a 0.2% in the 1Q of 2021

Singapore’s economy rises a 0.2% in the Q1 of 2021

Singapore’s economy grew by 0.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021.

A turnaround after three quarters of contraction, as the country continued its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2 percent between January and March, extending the 3.8 percent growth in the previous quarter, advance estimates by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) on Wednesday (Apr 14) showed.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a decline of 0.2 percent.

Singapore’s economy has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. After the first case was reported in Singapore on Jan 23 last year, Singapore posted 0 percent growth in GDP in the first quarter, followed by contractions in the following three quarters.

Last year, Singapore’s economy shrunk by 5.4 percent, the country’s first annual contraction since 2001 and its worst recession since independence.

“The expansion is a strong signal that our economy is slowly but surely recovering from the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 last year,” said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing in a Facebook post after the data was released.

“While we are cautiously optimistic, many downside risks remain which we will have to pay close attention to,” he added.

Factory activity also helped Singapore’s economy

Singapore’s economy rose on the back of strong manufacturing activity.

The sector grew 7.5 percent year-on-year, supported by output expansions in the electronics, precision engineering, chemicals and biomedical manufacturing clusters.

Construction sector continued to contract, albeit at a slower rate, as activity in the private and public sectors picked up.

The sector shrank by 20.2 percent in the first quarter, compared with the 27.4 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Among the services sectors, the wholesale and retail trade as well as transportation and storage trade sectors shrank by 4.1 percent in the first quarter. 

Source: Channel News Asia