Values of HK Total Exports, Imports of Goods in Dec Down 1.1%, 4.6%

The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released the external merchandise trade statistics for December 2015. In December 2015, the values of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year decreases, at 1.1% and 4.6% respectively.

 

In December 2015, the value of total exports of goods (comprising re-exports and domestic exports) decreased by 1.1% over a year earlier to $309.2 billion, after a year-on-year decrease of 3.5% in November 2015. Within this total, the value of re-exports decreased by 1.1% to $305.5 billion in December 2015, while the value of domestic exports decreased by 8.1% to $3.7 billion. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 4.6% over a year earlier to $354.9 billion in December 2015, after a year-on-year decrease of 8.1% in November 2015. A visible trade deficit of $45.7 billion, equivalent to 12.9% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in December 2015.

 

For 2015 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods dropped by 1.8% over 2014. Within this total, the value of re-exports decreased by 1.6%, while the value of domestic exports decreased by 15.2%. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 4.1%. A visible trade deficit of $441.1 billion, equivalent to 10.9% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in 2015.

 

Comparing December 2015 with December 2014, total exports to Asia as a whole went down by 0.1%. In this region, decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations, in particular Malaysia (-9.9%), Korea (-9.1%), Taiwan (-8.7%), Thailand (-8.1%), Singapore (-5.3%) and Japan (-0.7%). On the other hand, increases were recorded in the values of total exports to Indonesia (+15.8%) and India (+8.5%). The value of total exports to the mainland of China (the Mainland) also increased by 0.9%.

 

Apart from destinations in Asia, decreases were also registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the United Kingdom (-3.8%), the USA (-0.7%) and Germany (-0.4%).

 

Over the same period of comparison, decreases were registered in the values of imports from most major suppliers, in particular Switzerland (-17.9%), Japan (-13.1%), the USA (-11.8%), India (-11.7%), Taiwan (-9.5%) and Korea (-7.2%). The value of imports from the Mainland also decreased by 1.0%.

 

Comparing December 2015 with December 2014, decreases were registered in the values of total exports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $3.0 billion or -8.0%) and "miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares)" (by $2.7 billion or -13.5%). However, increases were registered in the values of total exports of "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $8.4 billion or 9.2%) and "professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus" (by $0.6 billion or 9.0%).

 

Over the same period of comparison, decreases were registered in the values of imports of most principal commodity divisions, in particular "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $3.3 billion or -4.7%), "petroleum, petroleum products and related materials" (by $2.7 billion or -38.2%) and "miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares)" (by $2.0 billion or -9.1%). However, an increase was registered in the value of imports of "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $4.6 billion or 4.2%).

 

A Government spokesman noted that the value of merchandise exports continued to record a year-on-year decrease in December 2015, though at a narrower pace, echoing the subdued regional production and trading activities amid the sluggish global demand conditions. Exports to most of the major markets were still weak.

 

The spokesman commented further that looking ahead, the external trading environment will remain challenging. The tepid global economic growth, coupled with uncertainties stemming from monetary policy normalisation in the US, diverging monetary policy among major central banks and heightened geopolitical tensions in various regions, would continue to constrain Hong Kong's export performance in the near term. The Government will monitor the situation closely.

 

(AAStocks Financial News)

 

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