(EnergyAsia, March 30) — Singapore’s manufacturing output fell 10.2% in February 2005 compared to February last year, said the Economic Development Board.

Bucking the trend, the chemicals and transport engineering clusters reported growth.

EDB said the transport engineering cluster grew by 27% year-on-year with expansions in both the marine and aerospace segments. The output of the marine & offshore engineering segment increased by 46.1% due to more ship repairs, ship conversions and container ship building projects. The fabrication of oil rigs also increased substantially. The aerospace segment grew by 15.2% with more repairs done for commercial aircraft together with the manufacture of aircraft components. Cumulatively, output of the transport engineering cluster grew by 29.6% in the first two months of 2005 compared to the same months in 2004.

The chemicals cluster grew by 1% as expansions in the petroleum and petrochemicals segment were offset by declines in other segments. Riding on the good margins in oil processing and high petroleum product prices, oil refineries increased their output by 6.8% compared to last February. The output of petrochemicals grew by 2.5% with more downstream petrochemicals produced. The production of specialty chemicals fell as some plants stopped production for about a week during the Lunar New Year festive period. Cumulatively, output of the chemicals cluster grew by 7.6% in the first two months of this year.

The electronics cluster contracted by 2.4%, with most segments recording lower output except the infocomms & consumer electronics segment. The electronics cluster grew by 6.9% in the first two months of 2005.

Output of the precision engineering cluster fell 13.2%. The cluster’s output decreased by 1.2% in the first two months of 2005.