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Singapore’s Top 10 Imports

Singapore's Top 10 Imports

Singapore nightscape

Singapore imported US$370.5 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2018, up 1.2% since 2014 and up 13.1% from 2017 to 2018.

Singaporean imports represent 2.1% of total global imports which totaled an estimated $17.788 trillion for 2017.

From a continental perspective, about two-thirds (66.4%) of Singapore’s total imports by value in 2018 were bought from fellow Asian countries. European trade partners supplied 17.6% of Singapore’s import purchases while 12.4% worth of goods originated from North America. Smaller percentages came from providers in Oceania (1.8%) led by Australia, then Latin America excluding Mexico plus the Caribbean and Africa (both at 0.9%).

Given Singapore ‘s population of 6 million people, its total $370.5 billion in 2018 imports translates to roughly $62,000 in yearly product demand from every person in the strategically located Asian nation.

Singapore’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Singapore’s import purchases during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Singapore.

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US$101.6 billion (27.4% of total imports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $87.9 billion (23.7%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $53.1 billion (14.3%)
  4. Gems, precious metals: $20.4 billion (5.5%)
  5. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $12.1 billion (3.3%)
  6. Aircraft, spacecraft: $11.8 billion (3.2%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: $8.7 billion (2.4%)
  8. Organic chemicals: $6.9 billion (1.9%)
  9. Vehicles: $5.4 billion (1.5%)
  10. Other chemical goods: $5.2 billion (1.4%)

Singapore’s top 10 imports represent more than four-fifths (84.5%) of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Imported aircraft and spacecraft was the fastest-growing top category thanks to its 47.1% year-over-year gain.
In second place for higher import purchases were mineral fuels including oil via its 21.4% uptick. Trailing mineral fuels were Singaporean imports of machinery including computers, up by 17.5%.

The most modest increase from 2017 to 2018 was 1.4% for the gems and precious metals category.

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 2018, Singaporean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics.

  1. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: US$63.8 billion (up 7.8% from 2017)
  2. Phone system devices including smartphones: $10 billion (up 9.2%)
  3. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $6.3 billion (up 20.6%)
  4. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $2.6 billion (up 11.7%)
  5. Unrecorded sound media: $2.1 billion (up 0.7%)
  6. Electrical converters/power units: $1.7 billion (up 5.9%)
  7. Insulated wire/cable: $1.6 billion (up 22.5%)
  8. Electrical capacitators: $1.5 billion (up 30.5%)
  9. Electrical machinery: $1.5 billion (up 0.6%)
  10. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $1.1 billion (up 25.4%)

Among these import subcategories, Singaporean purchases of electrical capacitators (up 30.5%), electrical and optical circuit boards or panels (up 25.4%) then insulated wire or cable (up 22.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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 2018, Singaporean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products.

  1. Processed petroleum oils: US$54.3 billion (up 16.3% from 2017)
  2. Crude oil: $28 billion (up 30.5%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $5.4 billion (up 35.7%)
  4. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $102.4 million (down -40.4%)
  5. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $57.2 million (up 11.9%)
  6. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $26.7 million (up 1.7%)
  7. Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes: $6 million (up 98%)
  8. Natural bitumen, asphalt, shale: $3.9 million (up 160%)
  9. Coke, semi-coke: $958,000 (no change)
  10. Petroleum oil residues: $849,000 (up 49.5%)

Among these import subcategories, Singaporean purchases of natural bitumen, asphalt and shale (up 160%), asphalt or petroleum bitumen mixes (up 98%) and petroleum oil residues (up 49.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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 2018, Singaporean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machinery including computers.

  1. Turbo-jets: US$14.1 billion (up 61.7% from 2017)
  2. Computers, optical readers: $7 billion (up 8.4%)
  3. Machinery for making semi-conductors: $5.1 billion (up 15.9%)
  4. Computer parts, accessories: $5 billion (up 0.05%)
  5. Printing machinery: $3.4 billion (down -0.3%)
  6. Machinery parts: $1.9 billion (down -22.7%)
  7. Miscellaneous machinery: $1.7 billion (up 1.8%)
  8. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $1.5 billion (up 9.6%)
  9. Piston engines: $1.1 billion (up 214.4%)
  10. Piston engine parts: $980.8 million (up 15.3%)

Among these import subcategories, Singaporean purchases of piston engines (up 214.4%), turbo-jets (up 61.7%) and machinery for making semi-conductors (up 15.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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 2018, Singaporean importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of gems and precious metals.

  1. Gold (unwrought): US$13.5 billion (up 2.9% from 2017)
  2. Jewelry: $2.8 billion (up 7.9%)
  3. Diamonds (unmounted/unset): $1.5 billion (up 8.8%)
  4. Precious metal waste, scrap: $1.1 billion (down -28.6%)
  5. Silver (unwrought): $421.7 million (down -11.5%)
  6. Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung): $293.2 million (up 41.4%)
  7. Imitation jewelry: $223.9 million (up 19.1%)
  8. Platinum (unwrought): $162.7 million (down -35.6%)
  9. Other precious metal items: $143.9 million (up 7%)
  10. Synthetic precious stones: $77.2 million (up 17.6%)

Among these import subcategories, Singaporean purchases of unstrung precious or semi-precious stones (up 41.4%), imitation jewelry (up 19.1%) and synthetic precious stones (up 17.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.

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 March 3, 2019

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 3, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 3, 2019