SINGAPORE — Data released by the Department of Statistics Singapore on Friday (May 19) showed a modest increase in domestic wholesale trade in the first three months of the year, at 1.6 per cent, over the previous quarter. Compared to the same period a year ago, domestic wholesale trade expanded by 23.5 per cent in the first quarter, reflecting improved sentiment from a year ago.
Excluding petroleum, domestic wholesale trade increased 2.6 per cent from the previous quarter, showing a 7.6 per cent expansion from the same period a year ago. After adjusting for price changes, overall domestic wholesale trade fell 5.3 per cent over the previous quarter, and registered a year-on-year decrease of 5 per cent.
Compared to the previous quarter, higher domestic sales were reported in the ship chandlers and bunkering (16.5 per cent), chemicals and chemical products (10.6 per cent) and petroleum and petroleum products (0.4 per cent) industries in first quarter 2017, due partly to price increases of petroleum and chemical products.
Similarly, the transport equipment industry reported a significant increase of 22.3 per cent in domestic sales. The metals, timber and construction materials, telecommunications and computers, electronic components and food, beverages and tobacco industries also recorded quarter-on-quarter growths of between 0.9 per cent and 4.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2017.
Conversely, the household equipment and furniture and general wholesale trade industries recorded contractions of 20.7 per cent and 13.5 per cent respectively in domestic sales in first quarter 2017, over the previous quarter.
Lower domestic sales of 3.6 per cent were also registered in the industrial and construction machinery industry, from the previous quarter.
Foreign wholesale trade increased 3.8 per cent in the first quarter 2017 over the previous quarter. Excluding petroleum, foreign wholesale trade rose 0.3 per cent over the previous quarter. After removing the price effect, overall foreign wholesale trade registered a decrease of 2.2 per cent.
Compared to the same quarter a year ago, foreign wholesale trade grew by 27.3 per cent in the first three months of the year. Excluding petroleum, foreign wholesale trade rose 19.9 per cent. After adjusting for price changes, overall foreign wholesale trade increased 0.5 per cent year-on-year.
The wholesale trade index measures the short-term performance of wholesale trade activities. The domestic wholesale trade index records wholesale sales in Singapore, while the foreign wholesale index pertains to wholesale sales outside Singapore, which comprises domestic exports, re-exports, transshipment cargo and offshore merchandise.