By Gaurav Raghuvanshi

SINGAPORE--Singapore's exports fell more sharply than expected in October, dragged down by both electronics and non-electronics shipments.

Non-oil domestic exports fell 12.0% in October compared with a year earlier, after falling 5.0% in September, the trade promotion agency International Enterprise Singapore said Thursday.

The median estimate of five economists in a Wall Street Journal poll was for October exports to contract 2.3% from a year earlier.

Compared with the previous month, exports fell 3.7% in seasonally adjusted terms, after expanding 2.2% on month in September. Economists had projected a median 1.5% expansion in October.

Electronics exports declined 6.0% on year after falling6.6% in September. Non-electronics shipments fell 14.6%, compared with a 4.2% fall in the previous month.

In the non-electronics sector, pharmaceutical exports fell 47% in October after growing 16.2% in the previous month.

Production and exports of medicines in Singapore is extremely volatile as the industry is dominated by some relatively large plants of only a few companies. Production of a batch of a high-value drug -- a cancer medicine, for example -- can cause production to surge one month, only to crash later as plants shut for long periods between batches of different drugs.

The city-state's shipments to China, its biggest export destination, were nearly flat, falling 0.1% from a year earlier, versus a 2.2% fall in the previous month, IE Singapore said.

Exports to the European Union fell 28.6% on year, reversing from a 9.9% gain in September. Exports to the U.S. fell 3.7% after the previous month's 7.4% decrease.

Write toGaurav Raghuvanshi at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 16, 2016 19:46 ET (00:46 GMT)

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