Singapore - Country Commercial Guide
Agricultural Sectors

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-09-16

Overview

The city-state of Singapore, with a population of 5.7 million, is a wealthy, developed and highly urbanized country.  As there is little local agricultural production, Singapore is almost entirely dependent upon imports for its food requirements.  The country’s economy is mainly driven by financial services, manufacturing, and tourism.  As the country is highly import-dependent for food security, Singapore’s food laws are focused on ensuring consistent foreign supply of food and agricultural products.  While trade contacts report Singapore can be very strict on sanitary and phytosanitary issues, the country maintains a liberal and open trade system.  Singapore does not impose quotas and tariffs on imported food and agricultural products (except tobacco and alcoholic beverages).  Singapore’s total agricultural product imports in 2019 reached 10.1 billion USD, roughly ten percent of which was sourced from the United States.  The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of a robust supply chain, and by extension, food security.  Even before the pandemic, as part of the “30 by 30” vision, the Singaporean government (in 2019) set the target of producing 30 percent of the country’s nutritional needs locally by 2030. 

In April 2019, the Singapore Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority restructured to form the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and the Singapore Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS).  SFA is under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and oversees all food-related matters including food safety and security.  AVS is under the National Parks Board (NParks) and oversees all non-food related animal, plant, and wildlife management matters.   

 

2017

2018

2019

2020 (Estimated)

Total Local Food and Agricultural Production 

183  
(estimated) 

205 
(estimated)  

216 
(estimated) 

237 
(estimated) 

Total Food and Agricultural Exports 

7,455 

10,909 

11,413 

12,554 

Total Food and Agricultural Imports  

9,494 

9,944 

10,068 

11,578 

Total Food and Agricultural Imports from the United States 

902 

932 

1,054 

1,212 

Total Food and Agricultural Market Size 

2,222 

-760 

-1,129 

-739 

Exchange Rates 

1.34 

1.36 

1.34 

1.39 

$US millions (total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

Data Sources: Trade Data Monitor 

Leading Sub-Sectors

Product Category (2019)

Major Supply Sources

(2019)

Foreign Supplier Situation

Local Supplier Situation

Beef and Beef Products 

Net Imports:

$250 million 

  1. Brazil: 32% 
  2. Australia: 32% 
  3. United States: 12% 
  4. New Zealand: 7% 

Australia & New Zealand are traditional suppliers. 

Brazil competes in the frozen beef segment. 

Singapore does not produce beef. 

Pork and Pork Products 

Net Imports: 

$295 million 

  1. Brazil: 31% 
  2. Australia: 15% 
  3. Netherlands: 14% 
  4. Spain: 11% 
  5. China: 8% 
  6. United States: 6% 

Brazil dominates the frozen segment. 

Australian pork dominates the fresh/chilled market due to close proximity. 

U.S. processed pork is growing in popularity.

Live pigs from Indonesia are imported and slaughtered.  The majority of this locally slaughtered meat is sold at wet/traditional markets and supermarkets.  

Poultry Meat and Products 

Net Imports:  

$375 million 

  1. Brazil:  53% 
  2. Thailand: 24% 
  3. United States: 9% 
  4. Malaysia: 5% 

Brazilian poultry is currently price competitive in the Singaporean market.  

 

Malaysian live chickens are imported and slaughtered.  

Seafood  

Products 

Net Imports: 

$1.1 billion 

  1. China: 14% 
  2. Malaysia: 14% 
  3. Vietnam:10% 
  4. Indonesia: 10% 
  5. Norway: 7% 

ASEAN countries and China dominate the market.  Fresh/chilled/ prawns, live crabs, frozen cuttlefish, and squid are key products.

90% of seafood is imported.  The remainder is supplied by sea-based Singaporean aquaculture operations. 

Fresh Fruit 

Net Imports:  

$528 million 

  1. Malaysia: 14% 
  2. United States: 13% 
  3. Australia: 13% 
  4. China: 12%  

Top U.S. fresh fruits in the Singapore market include grapes, oranges, strawberries and apples; United States dominates sales of these fruits when in season.    

Fruit production in Singapore is minimal.   

Processed Fruit 

Net Imports:  

$125 million 

  1. China: 22% 
  2. United States: 13% 
  3. Malaysia: 12% 
  4. Thailand: 10% 

U.S. processed fruit are highly popular; some are repacked and sold as private local brands.

Singapore is not a significant producer of processed fruit.

Tree Nuts 

Net Imports: 

$157 million 

  1. Indonesia:  28% 
  2. Malaysia: 18% 
  3. United States: 17% 
  4. India: 7% 

Along with cashews from neighboring countries, U.S. nuts are very popular.  Some U.S. nuts are repacked and sold under local brands.   

Singapore is not a major producer of edible nuts.   

Wine and Beer 

Net Imports: 

$785 million 

 

  1. France: 57%
  2. Australia: 10%
  3. Italy: 3% 
  4. United States: 3%

France dominates the premium wine market.  U.S. wines are growing in popularity.   

Singapore does not produce wine. 

Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), Singapore’s largest beer manufacturer, dominates the beer market. 

Data Sources: Trade Data Monitor 

Opportunities

Dairy Products 

Prospects are bright for U.S. dairy product sales to Singapore due to the growing local food retail and processing industries.  There was a nearly 9% increase in imports of U.S. dairy products from $69 million in 2018 to $75 million* in 2019.   Preceded by the top two suppliers of New Zealand and Australia, the U.S. was the third largest exporter of dairy products to Singapore in 2019.  Local consumer demand for several dairy products has grown in recent years.

Fresh Fruit

The U.S. continued to perform well in the Singaporean fresh fruit market in 2019 as the number two supplier after Malaysia.  Imports of U.S. fresh fruit reached almost $67 million last year.  Singaporean traders and retailers report reliable supply of high-quality product and brand recognition are driving strong demand for U.S. fresh fruit in the market.  The most popular U.S. fresh fruit in Singapore are grapes, oranges, strawberries, berries and apples. 

Processed Fruit 

The U.S. is an important player in the processed fruit sector.  Imports of U.S. processed fruit reached almost $16 million in 2019.  Generally, U.S. fruit products are dominant because of their competitiveness on quality, profitability and supply capacity.    

Pork

U.S. pork exports to Singapore increased from $12 million in 2018 to almost $19 million in 2019.  The long-term prospects are relatively good as pork is a major protein source for the majority of the local population and demand in high-end retail and restaurant outlets (where U.S. pork has an advantage) is growing.  

Wine and Beer   

Exports of U.S. wine and beer to Singapore decreased from $24 million in 2018 to $20 million in 2019.  Although French and Australian wines dominate the market, the United States has a growing reputation for premium wines and craft beer.

*Source: Trade Data Monitor 

Web Resources

Singapore Food Agency 

Animal & Veterinary Service 

Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) 

Singapore Business Federation 

Singapore Fruits and Vegetables Importers and Exporters Association (SFVA) 

Singapore Chefs Association (SCA) 

Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS)  

Singapore Hotel Association (SHA)  

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 

 

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Singapore Contacts 

Mr. William Verzani, Agricultural Attaché 

Email: William.Verzani@usda.gov 

Ms. Ira Sugita, Agricultural Specialist 

Email: Ira.Sugita@usda.gov  

Ms. Alice Kwek, Agricultural Marketing Specialist 

Email: Alice.Kwek@usda.gov