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Singapore major regional hub for food and agriculture re-exports

Staff Writer |
Singapore’s food processing sector is small due to limited natural resources, livestock and agricultural production.




As the country engages in minimal agricultural production, most raw materials for food processing are imported.

The few local food manufacturers that exist cannot meet overall demand; hence, Singapore imports 90% of the food consumed in the country – including large amounts of processed food products.

The United States, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and China are Singapore’s main suppliers of food / food products including food processing products. According to the Food Export Association, competition depends on the product.

For example, Australia and New Zealand supply most of the milk products and dairy ingredients; China supplies mostly corn and soybean products; and Malaysia supplies nearly 20% of the food ingredient market and a major supplier of live poultry, edible oils, and tropical fruits and vegetables.

In 2015, Singapore imported $688.3 million of consumer oriented agriculture total group, down from $ 783.2 million in 2014.

Import was also down for processed food total: in 2015, Singapore imported $ 551.1 million, down from $ 595.0 million in 2014; but the country still ranked first in the Southeast Asia region despite Singapore’s small size and global economic doldrums.

Top U.S. exports of processed foods to Singapore in 2015 included food preparations, chocolate and confectionery, processed vegetables and pulses, processed/prepared dairy products, non-alcoholic beverages, fats and oils and distilled spirits and other alcoholic beverages.

For prepared/packaged fish & seafood, prepared/preserved seafood, in 2015 Singapore imported $ 2.2 million from the States, down from $3.4 million in 2014.

While there was a 33.6% decrease for 2014/2015 period, Singapore is still a good potential market for prepared/processed fish/seafood products as the country enjoys one of the highest per capita consumption of fish/seafood products and the total average expenditure on fish/seafood for a typical household is about 17%.

Growth prospects in processed seafood are estimated to increase by at least 5% per year. Top U.S. imports of prepared/processed fish/seafood products to Singapore in 2015 included lobster, scallops, tunas, clams/cockles, and salmon.


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