What are Singapore’s Main Imports and Exports
In 2022, Singapore’s total merchandise imports and exports were valued at around S$655 billion and S$710 billion, respectively.
Its imports and exports are:
- Machinery & Transport Equipment
- Chemicals & Chemical Products
- Miscellaneous Manufactured Articles
- Manufactured Goods
- Food & Live Animals
- Animals & Vegetable Oils, Fats & Waxes
- Beverages & Tobacco
- Crude Materials (Excluding Fuels)
- Miscellaneous (Excluding Oil Bunkers)
Import-export companies play a pivotal role in connecting producers and suppliers in one country with customers and distributors in another, effectively bridging the gap between supply and demand on a global scale. Singapore is a significant trading hub at the centre of it all.
This article aims to explore the profiles of the top import-export companies in Singapore and briefly explains how to start one.
Profiles of the Top 15 Import-Export Companies in Singapore
Bunge Limited is a global agribusiness and food company with operations in Singapore. They trade agricultural products like soybeans, grains, and oilseeds.
- Established in 1818 in Amsterdam, it is now headquartered in the United States.
- Operations in over 40 countries.
- A significant player in the global soybean and grain trade.
- Active presence in the Singaporean trading market.
Cargill is a global leader in the trading and distributing of agricultural, energy, and industrial products. The company’s operations in Singapore are integral to its worldwide network, trading commodities such as palm oil, grains, and energy products.
- Founded in 1865 in the United States.
- Presence in 70 countries.
- Diverse portfolio, including agriculture, energy, and industrial products.
- Significant role in the Singaporean trading market.
CITIC Group Corporation
CITIC Group Corporation is a Chinese state-owned conglomerate interested in diverse sectors, including trading. They have an office in Singapore and trade in various commodities.
- A state-owned Chinese conglomerate.
- A diverse portfolio spanning multiple sectors.
- Singapore office contributes to their regional and global trading activities.
- Engages in the trading of a wide range of commodities.
Glencore is a multinational commodity trading and mining company in Singapore. They are involved in trading various metals, minerals, and agricultural products.
- It was founded in 1974 in Switzerland.
- The diverse portfolio includes metals, minerals, and agricultural products.
- Singapore contributes significantly to its trading operations in Asia.
Gunvor Group is a significant energy trading company in Singapore. They trade in oil, natural gas, and other energy-related products.
- Founded in 2000 in Switzerland.
- Prominent in the global energy trading sector.
- Singapore serves as an essential trading centre in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Trades in a wide range of energy-related products.
Hanwa Corporation is a South Korean trading company in Singapore. They trade in various products, including steel, non-ferrous metals, and chemicals.
- Established in 1952 in South Korea.
- Operates in various sectors, including steel, non-ferrous metals, and chemicals.
- Singapore office plays a critical role in their trading operations in Asia.
- Engages in the trading of diverse commodities.
Louis Dreyfus Company
Louis Dreyfus Company, founded in 1851, is a global merchant and processor of agricultural goods with a presence in Singapore. They trade in products like grains, oilseeds, and cotton.
- Founded in 1851 in France.
- A significant player in the global agricultural trade.
- The diverse portfolio includes grains, oilseeds, and cotton.
- Singapore office plays a crucial role in their Asian operations.
Mercuria Energy Group
Mercuria Energy Group, headquartered in Switzerland, is a prominent energy and commodity trading company with an office in Singapore. They trade in various commodities, including oil, natural gas, and metals.
- Established in 2004 in Switzerland.
- Significant presence in the global energy and commodity markets.
- Singapore serves as a vital trading hub for Asia-Pacific activities.
- The diverse portfolio includes oil, natural gas, and metals.
Olam International, headquartered in Singapore, is a major agribusiness and food company. Founded in 1989, Olam is known for its role in sourcing, processing, and trading various agricultural products globally, including coffee, cocoa, and cotton.
- Founded in 1989 in Nigeria, it is now headquartered in Singapore.
- Specialises in the trading of agricultural products.
- Operations in over 60 countries.
- A leading player in the global coffee and cocoa trade.
POSCO International is the trading arm of POSCO, a South Korean steel and infrastructure company. With a presence in Singapore, they are involved in trading steel, non-ferrous metals, and other industrial products.
- A subsidiary of POSCO, a major South Korean conglomerate.
- Operations in various sectors, including steel and infrastructure.
- Significant presence in Singapore’s trading landscape.
- Trades in steel and non-ferrous metals.
Trafigura is a top-tier commodity trading company with a global presence. Established in 1993, Trafigura has a substantial footprint in Singapore and is renowned for trading in oil, metals, and minerals.
- Founded in 1993 in Switzerland.
- A prominent player in the global commodities market.
- Singapore serves as a vital trading hub for its Asia-Pacific operations.
- Trades in a wide range of commodities, including oil and metals.
Vale International is the trading arm of Vale S.A., a Brazilian mining company. They are in Singapore and trade iron ore and related products.
- Trading arm of Vale S.A., a major Brazilian mining company.
- Specialises in the trading of iron ore and associated products.
- Singapore office plays a vital role in their Asian and global trade operations.
- A key player in the iron ore trading market.
Vitol is a Dutch energy and commodity trading company with a significant presence in Singapore. Established in 1966, Vitol is one of the world’s largest independent energy traders, dealing in oil, gas, and other energy-related products.
- Founded in 1966 in the Netherlands.
- A prominent player in the global energy trading market.
- Singapore serves as a crucial trading centre for Asia-Pacific operations.
- Trades in a wide range of energy-related products.
Vopak has been active in Singapore since 1987, contributing to the city-state’s growth as a global hub for shipping, trade, and energy.
- Established as “Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie” (VOC) in 1616.
- Specialises in trading of bulk liquid chemicals, gases, and oil products.
- Singapore serves as a hub for its Asia operations.
- A key player in the petrochemicals, oil products, and gases market.
Wilmar International is a Singaporean agribusiness giant and one of the largest palm oil traders worldwide. They also engage in the trading of other agricultural products, including soybeans, grains, and oilseeds.
- Established in 1991 in Singapore.
- A global leader in palm oil trading.
- Operations in over 50 countries.
- The diverse portfolio includes sugar, soybeans, and grains.
Note: Please note that inclusion in this list does not imply an official endorsement by Luwjistik. These companies have been selected based on their widespread popularity and general opinion. We value your input if you believe any deserving ones have been left out.
How to Start an Import-Export Company in Singapore
Singapore import-export companies require various licenses and permits to conduct their activities. The licenses and permits needed can vary depending on the nature of the products being traded, the countries involved, and the regulatory requirements. Here are some of the standard licenses and permits you need to start an international trading company in Singapore.
Step 1: Business Registration
Every business in Singapore must register with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The type of business structure chosen (e.g., Private Limited Company, Limited Liability Partnership, Sole Proprietorship) determines the registration process.
Step 2: Import and Export Licenses
The need for import and export licenses depends on the trade type. Singapore Customs issues these licenses (including the Customs Import Permit), and companies must register with the TradeNet system for customs clearance. Specific import-export licenses exist for controlled items, strategic goods, and particular categories like pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
Step 3: Applying for Trading Licenses
Companies involved in commodity trade, which many international trading companies are, must obtain a Commodity Trading License from Enterprise Singapore. The license is often required for companies trading in oil, gas, chemicals, palm oil, rubber, soya beans, iron ore and aluminium.
Certain industries also have specific licensing requirements. For instance, companies trading in chemicals may need a hazardous substances permit. The Singapore government has developed a robust guide to applying for these industry licenses.
How Luwjistik Helps
One of the critical sources of revenue growth for any import-export company is an efficient supply chain. Your business will need timely and cost-effective delivery of freight. That’s why you need a logistics platform like Luwjistik. It is a logistics platform solution designed to streamline processes and establish connections to a network of logistics service providers, simplifying the supply chain without requiring investment in on-ground logistics assets.
Here’s how Luwjistik can assist you:
- Luwjistik’s Marketplace connects logistics service providers to a diverse network of over 80 partners across 22 countries. This extensive network offers a wide range of logistics and freight options and transparent cost management, facilitating well-informed decision-making.
- L-Freight offers an all-in-one platform for businesses engaged in B2B shipments. This platform streamlines selecting suitable freight, submitting comprehensive shipment orders, and efficiently managing customs documentation. It also provides cost-saving benefits through group buy rates, allowing businesses to optimise transportation costs, thus improving overall operational efficiency for both B2B and B2C shipments within a single logistics framework.
- Unified API
- Luwjistik streamlines your delivery operations by offering a Unified API, allowing seamless integration with multiple logistics service providers through a single interface. This simplification reduces complexity, making it easier to compare and select the most suitable logistics and freight partners worldwide, including in Singapore. It enhances the efficiency of your supply chain and logistics processes without additional resources.
To embark on a transformative journey and explore these strategic logistics approaches, visit our website at luwjistik.com or contact our representative at firstname.lastname@example.org today.