ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Petroleum drags domestic wholesale trade to -4.7% in Q1

Excluding petroleum sales, domestic wholesale would have registered a 6.1% increase.

Domestic wholesale trade contracted by 4.7% in the first quarter of 2021, according to latest government data.

This was due to lower sales of petroleum, which fell by 15% and dragged down the increases from other industries. Excluding petroleum, domestic wholesale sales registered an increase of 6.1%

Chemicals and chemical products showed the highest improvement amongst industries, growing by 18.3% due to an increased demand in petrochemical products. This was followed by the metals, timber and construction industry, which grew by 10.7% on the back of higher prices of metal ores.

Lower demand for construction machinery due to reduced domestic construction activities caused a decline of 15.0% in the industiral and construction machinery industry.

On the other hand, foreign wholesale sales grew by 11.3% in the first quarter, or by 17.3% excluding petroleum.

Most wholesale trade industries recorded higher foreign sales, particularly the telecommunications and computers industry and the electronic components industry, growing by 51.2% and 43.3% respectively.

Meanwhile, the food, beverage and tobacco, and the ship chandlers and bunkering industries contracted by 21.4% and 17.3% respectively, due to lower sales of grains and edible oils, and a decreased demand in bunker fuel.

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