Singapore’s Top Imported Consumer Products Ranked by Value

The Republic of Singapore is a sovereign island city-state near the Malay Peninsula’s southern tip found in maritime Southeast Asia.

In addition to the main island, Singapore is comprised of 63 satellite islands or islets plus one outlying islet. Singapore has the world’s third highest population density after Macau and Monaco.

Home to 5.8 million residents, Singapore is nicknamed The Garden City reflecting its tree-lined streets and lush parks.

One of its 4 official languages, English is Singapore’s main business language which facilitates the Southeast Asian nation’s role as an international trade hub.

Despite its relatively small population, Singapore has the world’s 38th wealthiest economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on a Purchasing Power Parity basis, producing $600.1 billion worth of products and services as of April 2021.

Singapore’s demand for imported goods represents a subtotal US$123.9 billion worth of Singaporean spending on the 100 most valuable consumer products imported into the Southeast Asian city-state during 2020.

That consumer-driven dollar amount represents well over a third (37.7%) of the overall value of all goods imported into Singapore. International spending on all Singaporean imports, including raw materials, intermediate products and semi-finished goods, totaled $328.8 billion in 2020.

Singapore’s most valuable consumer products in 2020 are: refined petroleum oils; gold; phone devices including smartphones; computers; and computer parts or accessories.

Spending on Singapore’s top 100 imported consumer products fell by -8.4% from 2019 to 2020. Singapore’s top 100 consumer metric mirrored the -8.4% downtick for all of Singapore’s imported goods over the latest annual period.

The deceleration in Singaporean spending for imported consumer products was roughly the same as the global average from 2019 to 2020, which was an average drop of -8.2% for all importing countries around the world.

Among the top 100 consumer products imported by Singapore, 37 increased in total value from 2019 to 2020 whereas 63 declined.

Changes in Singaporean consumer demand for essential imports offer future opportunities for international suppliers who correctly anticipate which upward or downward trends will continue.

Consumer Products Defined

Economics educator BoyceWire defines a consumer product as a final good or end product that a business creates for consumers to buy. For example, consumers often purchase refined petroleum oil at the gas station while imported crude oil is an intermediate good subject to further processing before being sold to end users.

Although there may be a few wealthy individual buyers, products like turbojets are excluded from the consumer products targeted by this study. That is because turbojets are usually purchased by corporations. In contrast, it is common for a consumer to buy a motorcycle.

Types of Consumer Products

This article focuses on 3 distinct consumer product types.

Convenience Products are easy to access, non-durable, have relatively lower prices and therefore consumers frequently purchase them. Examples of convenience products are food, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, and soap.

Shopping Products are not as easily available, involve more time to make a buying decision, are durable and are not bought as often as most convenience products. A great example of a shopping product is a mobile phone where buying the wrong model is a much more expensive mistake than buying a disappointing loaf of bread.

Specialty Products describe another consumer product type. This grey area includes infrequently purchased, expensive, durable and sometimes rare items. Consumers may consider the product’s brand image when making their purchase decisions. Some examples of speciality products are gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, and branded refrigerators and dishwashers.

Singaporean Consumer Imports Smart List

The searchable marketing intelligence table below showcases Singapore’s 100 highest-value imported consumer products in descending order. Items were selected at the four-digit Harmonized System tariff classification code level.

The table’s fourth column is labeled YOY for year over year. The fifth column identifies each entry’s consumer product type.

#Imported ProductUS$YOY 
1Processed petroleum oils$31,253,392,000-31.9%CP
2Gold (unwrought)$16,636,743,000+64.8%SY
3Phones$11,649,991,000+2.9%SP
4Computers, optical readers$8,058,609,000+10.8%SP
5Computer parts, accessories$5,379,992,000-6.4%SP
6Printing machinery$3,392,286,000+11.5%SP
7Beauty/makeup/skin care$2,894,321,000-10%SY
8Lower-voltage switches, fuses$2,206,928,000-5.7%SP
9Jewelry$2,141,056,000-29.2%SY
10Unrecorded sound media$1,897,535,000+21.8%SP
11Medications$1,786,828,000+12.2%CP
12Electrical converters/power units$1,718,779,000+1.4%SP
13Cases, handbags, wallets$1,579,976,000-20.6%SP
14Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$1,461,750,000-12.5%CP
15Insulated wire/cable$1,448,783,000-7.1%SP
16Automobile parts/accessories$1,448,479,000-20.6%SP
17Cars$1,121,787,000-45%CP
18Miscellaneous textile items$1,026,357,000+1434%SP
19Miscellaneous plastic items$953,988,000-6.8%CP
20Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$876,521,000-25.9%SY
21Wrist/pocket watches (precious case)$783,745,000-20.2%SP
22Orthopedic appliances$745,490,000-15.4%SP
23Electric storage batteries$736,323,000-1.2%SY
24Other food preparations$692,359,000+8.8%CP
25Liquid pumps$690,543,000-12.8%SY
26Motorcycle parts/accessories$686,420,000+7.2%SP
27Miscellaneous glass items$666,410,000+16.3%SP
28Perfumes, toilet waters$650,668,000-22.7%CP
29Wrist/pocket watches (regular case)$628,867,000-29.4%SP
30Temperature-change machines$603,113,000+13.7%SY
31Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$545,596,000-7.2%CP
32Miscellaneous iron or steel items$543,782,000-14.3%SP
33Wine $540,614,000-13%CP
34Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes$535,761,000-33.3%CP
35Microphones/headphones/amps$511,626,000-14%SP
36Uncoated paper for writing/printing$502,455,000-7.5%CP
37Air conditioners$442,882,000-15.9%SY
38Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$407,752,000+3.6%SY
39Compasses, other navigational aids$398,319,000-19.6%SY
40Refrigerators, freezers$389,176,000-7.3%SY
41Silver (unwrought)$387,745,000+29%SY
42Miscellaneous furniture$382,249,000-15.7%SP
43Concentrated/sweetened milk$364,552,000+3.5%CP
44Screws, bolts, washers, hooks, pins$360,365,000-12.1%SP
45Electric water heaters, hair dryers$356,758,000+6%SY
46Miscellaneous precious metal items$355,256,000+91.2%SP
47Other pharmaceutical preparations$337,098,000-1.5%SP
48Miscellaneous aluminum items$325,893,000+5.4%SP
49Primary batteries/cells$325,170,000-2.7%SP
50Felt, other non-woven garments$324,585,000+1070%SP
51Special hand/machine tools$314,511,000+17.5%SY
52Swine meat$311,564,000+29.4%CP
53Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$309,560,000+2%CP
54Rice$299,205,000+25.4%CP
55Vulcanized rubber items$292,069,000-10.2%SP
56Other organic cleaning preparations$282,189,000+10.9%CP
57Poultry meat$280,370,000+8.1%CP
58Hot-rolled iron/non-alloy steel items$277,721,000-33%SP
59Provitamins, vitamins$270,698,000-3.1%CP
60Electric generating sets, converters$251,851,000-34.9%SY
61Footwear (leather)$235,458,000-31.6%SP
62Soap, organic surface-active goods$227,983,000+23.8%SP
63Cocoa beans$227,346,000+5.1%CP
64Waters with added sugar$220,873,000-12.5%CP
65Footwear (textile)$210,370,000-22.1%SP
66Rubber tires (new)$207,914,000-22.1%SP
67Other fresh/chilled vegetables$206,757,000+7.8%CP
68Hand-drawn paintings, drawings$205,245,000-26.5%SY
69Women's clothing (not knit/crochet)$202,473,000-30.2%SP
70Packaged insecticides, herbicides$201,646,000+93.3%SP
71Paper containers, cellulose wadding$201,198,000-3.8%SP
72Trucks$198,079,000-44.2%SP
73Seats (not barber/dentist chairs)$194,945,000-33.6%SP
74T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$185,568,000-25.2%SP
75Other meats (preserved/prepared)$184,170,000+11.9%CP
76Shaving preparations, deodorants$179,278,000-9.3%SP
77Tissues, napkins, toilet paper$178,054,000+39.2%CP
78Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$175,218,000-29.6%CP
79Paints, varnishes$170,711,000-17.9%SP
80Sauces, mixed condiments, seasoning$168,742,000+6.3%CP
81Plastic wares (table, kitchen, toiletry)$165,264,000-10.1%CP
82Video console games, table games$163,395,000-30.7%SP
83Crustaceans (including lobsters)$160,052,000-20.5%CP
84Miscellaneous toys$153,994,000-25.2%SP
85Sewing machines, related furniture$152,146,000-49%SY
86Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)$151,663,000+29.5%CP
87Sportswear (unknit/non-crochet)$147,695,000+114.3%SP
88Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)$147,170,000+12.2%CP
89Printed books, brochures$144,805,000-26.7%SP
90Hair preparations$143,418,000-2.9%SP
91Women's clothing (knit or crochet)$142,973,000-19.9%SP
92Prepared glues, adhesives$140,526,000-16.8%SP
93Whole fish (fresh)$138,896,000-0.1%CP
94Eggs in shell (bird)$135,768,000-7.8%CP
95 Dishwash, clean/dry/fill machines $135,317,000+0.3%SY
96Lubricant preparations, anti-rust$135,086,000-15.2%SP
97Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$134,504,000-28.7%SP
98Sports equipment$133,637,000-17.8%SP
99Household base metal mountings$133,186,000-25.5%SY
100Frozen beef$133,155,000+15.4%CP

Featuring 50 items, Singapore’s most popular product type is shopping products (SP). This cohort was led by imported phone devices including smartphones, computers, computer parts or accessories, printing machinery, and lower-voltage switches or fuses.

In second place via 31 items are convenience products (CP), articles that are bought routinely, used only once and generally require less thinking time before making a buying decision. Popular examples include processed petroleum oils, medications, then alcohol spirits and liqueurs.

Another 19 speciality products (SY) ranking among Singapore’s top 100 imported consumer goods. Major speciality products imported into Singapore include gold, beauty products such as makeup or skin care, jewelry, unset diamonds, and electric storage batteries.

Durable consumer products are goods like cars, trucks, printing machinery, insulated wire or cable, and furniture that last a relatively long time. Consumers can put durable products to use again and again. By product type, note that both shopping products and speciality products are considered as durable consumer goods.

Non-durable consumer products (ND) are goods that are not re-used once consumed. Coal, medications, sugar and corn are examples of non-durable goods. Convenience products are uniquely non-durable consumer products.

Based on the product types identified in the above table, 69 of Singapore’s highest-value consumer imported products are durable while 31 are classified as non-durable.

Using the provided table, you can also peruse the greatest increases or decreases in product values from 2019 to 2020. To do so, click on the heading of the fourth column.

Fastest-Growing Consumer Imports

Listed below are the top 10 consumer products imported into Singapore that experienced the highest percentage increases in spending from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Miscellaneous textile items: Up 1,434% (US$1.03 billion)
  2. Felt, other non-woven garments: Up 1,070% ($324.6 million)
  3. Unknitted and non-crocheted sportswear: Up 114.3% ($147.7 million)
  4. Packaged insecticides, herbicides: Up 93.3% ($201.6 million) 
  5. Miscellaneous precious metal items: Up 91.2% ($355.3 million)
  6. Gold: Up 64.8% ($16.6 billion)
  7. Tissues, napkins, toilet paper: Up 39.2% ($178.1 million)
  8. Preserved or prepared fish including caviar: Up 29.5% ($151.7 million)
  9. Swine meat: Up 29.4% ($311.6 million)
  10. Silver: Up 29% ($387.7 million)

Two among the above top 10 gainers are speciality products and therefore also durable goods that consumers can re-use over time. This duo of fastest-growing speciality products in demand by importers in Singapore are unwrought gold and unwrought silver.

The 5 fastest-growing shopping products are: miscellaneous textile items; garments made from felt or other non-woven materials; unknitted and non-crocheted sportswear; packaged insecticides or herbicides; and miscellaneous items made from or with precious metals.

Three non-durable imported consumer products that lead in sales growth are: tissues, napkins and toilet paper; preserved or prepared fish including caviar; and swine meat.

Worst-Declining Consumer Imports

Spending by import buyers in Singapore on the following 10 items decreased in value by the highest percentages from 2019 to 2020.

  1. Sewing machines, related furniture: Down -49% ($152.1 million)
  2. Cars: Down -45% ($1.1 billion)
  3. Trucks: Down -44.2% ($198.1 million)
  4. Electric generating sets, converters: Down -34.9% ($251.9 million)
  5. Seats (excluding barber or dentist chairs): Down -33.6% ($194.9 million)
  6. Cigars, cigarillos, cigarettes: Down -33.3% ($535.8 million)
  7. Items made from hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel: Down -33% ($277.7 million)
  8. Processed petroleum oils: Down -31.9% ($31.9 billion)
  9. Leather footwear: Down -31.6% ($235.5 million)
  10. Video console games, table games: Down -30.7% ($163.4 million)

Six categories among Singaporean top 10 severest decliners are durable shopping products used over a period of time. The worst slippage among those categories was for Singapore’s imported cars, trucks, seats, and items made from hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel.

The strongest declines for the 2 durable speciality goods belong to sewing machines plus related furniture, and electric generating sets or converters.

There were 2 non-durable consumer products among Singapore’s 10 major import decliners from 2019 to 2020, namely cigars, cigarillos or cigarettes, and processed petroleum oils.

Key Suppliers by Country

This analysis reveals competitive suppliers that target demand for 5 of Singapore’s top consumer import products.

Singapore’s biggest imported consumer product by value is processed petroleum oils.  The other 4 leading consumer goods imported into Singapore are gold, phone devices including smartphones, computers, and computer parts or accessories.

Below, you will find major supplying countries for Singapore’s imported:

Processed petroleum oils: Malaysia (26.1% of total), China (15.8%), India (6.7%), South Korea (5.5%), United Arab Emirates (5.1%), Iraq (4.6%), Russia (3.7%), Brazil (3.4%), Saudi Arabia (3%), and Japan (2.1%).

Gold: Thailand (17.2% of total), Indonesia (13.7%), Cambodia (13.3%), Switzerland (12.7%), Hong Kong (12.3%), Japan (11.2%), Australia (6%), South Korea (3.2%), China (2.7%), and United States (2.4%).

Phone devices including smartphones: China (64.8% of total), Malaysia (9.4%), Indonesia (4.4%), United States (3.4%), Vietnam (2.8%), Hong Kong (2.4%), Mexico (2.1%), Taiwan (1.7%), Thailand (1.6%), and Czech Republic (1.4%).

Computers: China (58.5% of total), Malaysia (8.1%), Thailand (7.1%), United States (7.1%), Netherlands (3.5%), Mexico (3.2%), Taiwan (2.4%), Indonesia (1.9%), Philippines (1.5%), and Japan (0.9%).

Computer parts or accessories: China (32.2% of total), Malaysia (29%), Taiwan (20.8%), Indonesia (2.8%), United States (2.7%), South Korea (also 2.7%), Vietnam (1.7%), Thailand (also 1.7%), Philippines (1.1%), and Mexico (0.9%).

See also

More great research: Singapore’s Main Imports by Top Supplier Countries, 100 Most Valuable Imported Consumer Goods to Sell in Malaysia, 100 Best Consumer Goods for Selling to Importers in Russia, 100 Top Consumer Goods to Sell to Importers in Brazil, Pakistan’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products

References

Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.

BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.

Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Singapore Economy.

International Trade Centre, Trade Map.

Investopedia, Consumer Goods, Consumer Staples Definition, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

Richest Country Reports, Top 100 Richest Countries by GDP.

Trading Economics, Singapore Consumer Spending.

Wikipedia, List of largest consumer markets.

Wikipedia, Singapore.

World’s Top Exports, Singapore’s Top 10 Imports.

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