Hong Kong Trade Deficit Narrows in February From a Year Earlier


In February of 2013, Hong Kong recorded a Trade Deficit of HKD 34 billion, as the values of total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year decreases, at 16.9 percent and 18.3 percent respectively.

In February 2013, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 16.9 percent over a year earlier to $215.7 billion, after a year-on-year increase of 17.6 percent in January 2013. Within this total, the value of re-exports decreased by 16.8 percent to $212.5 billion in February 2013, while the value of domestic exports decreased by 24.6 percent to $3.3 billion. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 18.3 percent over a year earlier to $249.7 billion in February 2013, after a year-on-year increase of 23.9 percent in January 2013. A visible trade deficit of $34.0 billion, equivalent to 13.6 percent of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in February 2013. 

Comparing February 2013 with February 2012, total exports to Asia as a whole went down by 21.3 percent. In this region, substantial decreases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular Malaysia (-40.8 percent), Vietnam (-38.8 percent), the mainland of China (-23.1 percent), Thailand (-19.2 percent) and Japan (-19.2 percent). Apart from destinations in Asia, decreases were also registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular Germany (-8.7 percent), the USA (-4.6 percent) and the United Kingdom (-4.0 percent). Decreases were registered in the values of total exports of most principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $15.9 billion or -21.9%), "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $6.8 billion or -13.8%) and "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $5.1 billion or -14.5%).
 
Over the same period of comparison, decreases were registered in the values of imports from all major suppliers, in particular Malaysia (-33.9 percent), the USA (-30.9 percent), Japan (-27.5 percent), the mainland of China (-18.0 percent) and Switzerland (-15.7 percent). Decreases were registered in the values of imports of all principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $13.9 billion or -17.5 percent), "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $9.2 billion or -20.2 percent) and "miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods)" (by $5.6 billion or -25.8 percent).
 
A Government spokesman noted that merchandise exports fell back in February on a year-on-year comparison, largely due to the difference in timing of the Chinese New Year in 2012 and 2013. Yet even taking the first two months of 2013 together to remove such distortion, merchandise exports attained only a meagre year-on-year growth, with mixed performance seen across the major markets.

Census & Statistics Department | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
3/26/2013 10:25:35 AM