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Singapore’s Top 10 Imports

Singapore's Top 10 Imports

Singapore nightscape

Singapore imported US$327.7 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2017, down by -12.2% since 2013 but up by 15.8% from 2016 to 2017.

Singaporean imports represent 2% of total global imports which totaled an estimated $16.054 trillion for 2016.

From a continental perspective, 68.1% of Singapore’s total imports by value in 2017 were purchased from other Asian countries. European trade partners supplied 16.7% of Singapore’s import purchases while 11.6% worth of goods originated from North America. Smaller percentages came from Latin America excluding Mexico plus the Caribbean (1.2%) and Africa (0.8%).

Given Singapore ‘s population of 5.9 million people, its total $327.7 billion in 2017 imports translates to roughly $56,000 in yearly product demand from every person in the country.

Singapore’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Singapore’s import purchases during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Singapore.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$93.2 billion (28.4% of total imports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $72.3 billion (22.1%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $45.2 billion (13.8%)
  4. Gems, precious metals: $20.1 billion (6.1%)
  5. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $11.2 billion (3.4%)
  6. Aircraft, spacecraft: $8 billion (2.4%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $7.7 billion (2.3%)
  8. Organic chemicals: $6.2 billion (1.9%)
  9. Other chemical goods: $5 billion (1.5%)
  10. Vehicles: $5 billion (1.5%)

Singapore’s top 10 imports represent more than four-fifths (83.6%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Imported gems and precious metals was the fastest-growing top category up by 76.3% year over year. Precious metals scrap, jewelry, silver and diamonds were the key drivers for this value improvement.

In second place for higher import purchases were mineral fuels including oil via its 41.6% gain. Trailing mineral fuels were Singaporean imports of miscellaneous chemical goods up by 23.5%.

Down -10.1%, vehicles represent Singapore’s only top 10 import category to decline in value from 2016 to 2017.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Electronics

In 2017, Singaporean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics:

  1. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$59.2 billion (up 11% from 2016)
  2. Phone system devices including smartphones: $9.1 billion (up 9.6%)
  3. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $5.2 billion (up 1.6%)
  4. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $2.3 billion (up 14%)
  5. Unrecorded sound media: $2.1 billion (up 66.8%)
  6. Electrical converters/power units: $1.6 billion (up 1.7%)
  7. Electrical machinery: $1.5 billion (up 3.1%)
  8. Insulated wire/cable: $1.3 billion (up 1.7%)
  9. Electrical capacitators: $1.2 billion (up 21.8%)
  10. TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras: $877.6 million (up 16.1%)

Among these import subcategories, Singaporean purchases of unrecorded sound media (up 66.8%), electrical capacitators (up 21.8%) and TV receiver, transmitter and digital cameras (up 16.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Singaporean businesses and consumers.

Fuel

In 2017, Singaporean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products:

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$46.7 billion (up 41.1% from 2016)
  2. Crude oil: $21.4 billion (up 42.3%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $4 billion (up 45.6%)
  4. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $171.6 million (up 17.4%)
  5. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $51.1 million (up 65.2%)
  6. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $26.5 million (up 57.4%)
  7. Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $3 million (down -28%)
  8. Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $1.5 million (down -31.8%)
  9. Peat: $705,000 (up 57%)
  10. Petroleum oil residues: $565,000 (down -76.2%)

Among these import subcategories, Singaporean purchases of coal and solid fuels made from coal (up 65.2%), petroleum jelly and mineral waxes (up 57.4%) and peat (up 57.0%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported mineral fuel-related products among Singaporean businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2017, Singaporean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers:

  1. Turbo-jets: US$8.7 billion (up 18.6% from 2016)
  2. Computers, optical readers: $6.5 billion (up 16.7%)
  3. Computer parts, accessories: $5 billion (up 13.6%)
  4. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $4.4 billion (up 2.6%)
  5. Printing machinery: $3.4 billion (up 10.6%)
  6. Machinery parts: $2.4 billion (down -3.6%)
  7. Miscellaneous machinery: $1.6 billion (up 9.4%)
  8. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $1.4 billion (up 2.5%)
  9. Ball, roller bearings: $993.9 million (up 7.8%)
  10. Air or vacuum pumps: $905.7 million (down -13.6%)

Among these import subcategories, Singaporean purchases of turbo-jets (up 18.6%), computers including optical readers (up 16.7%) and computer parts or accessories (up 13.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Singaporean businesses and consumers.

Precious

In 2017, Singaporean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of gems and precious metals:

  1. Gold (unwrought): US$13.1 billion (up 489.7% from 2016)
  2. Jewelry: $2.6 billion (down -18.9%)
  3. Precious metal waste, scrap: $1.6 billion (down -42.2%)
  4. Diamonds (unmounted/unset): $1.4 billion (down -18.8%)
  5. Silver (unwrought): $477.1 million (down -3.7%)
  6. Platinum (unwrought): $253 million (down -5.5%)
  7. Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung): $206.7 million (up 37.7%)
  8. Imitation jewelry: $188.2 million (down -0.03%)
  9. Other precious metal items: $134.4 million (down -34.4%)
  10. Synthetic precious stones: $65.5 million (up 16.1%)

Among these import subcategories, Singaporean purchases of unprocessed gold (up 489.7%), unstrung precious or semi-precious stones (up 37.7%) and synthetic precious stones (up 16.1%) were the only three to appreciate from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported gems and precious metals among Singaporean businesses and consumers.



 

See also Singapore’s Top 10 Major Export Companies, Singapore’s Top Trading Partners, Singapore’s Top 10 Exports and Top Asian Export Countries

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 5, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 5, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 5, 2018