Hong Kong Exports Up in March


In March of 2013, the value of total exports of goods (comprising re-exports and domestic exports) increased by 11.2% over a year earlier to $291.7 billion, after a year-on-year decrease of 16.9% in February of 2013. The value of imports of goods increased by 11.3% over a year earlier to $340.9 billion in March 2013, after a year-on-year decrease of 18.3% in February of 2013. A visible trade deficit of $49.1 billion, equivalent to 14.4% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in March of 2013.

Comparing March 2013 with March 2012, total exports to Asia as a whole grew by 15.8%. In this region, double-digit increases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular Thailand (+24.9%), Taiwan (+24.0%), Korea (+21.0%), Vietnam (+18.0%) and the mainland of China (the Mainland) (+16.5%). Apart from destinations in Asia, increases were also registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the USA (+0.4%). Concurrently, decreases were registered in the values of total exports to the United Kingdom (-26.6%) and Germany (-14.7%).

Over the same period of comparison, increases were registered in the values of imports from most major suppliers, in particular Korea (+30.8%), India (+22.9%), Taiwan (+16.2%), Malaysia (+16.2%), Thailand (+16.0%) and the Mainland (+13.8%).

Comparing March 2013 with March 2012, significant increases were registered in the values of total exports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $15.3 billion or 22.2%), "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $11.2 billion or 39.6%) and "non-metallic mineral manufactures" (by $3.1 billion or 25.1%).

Over the same period of comparison, significant increases were registered in the values of imports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $20.7 billion or 27.6%), "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $10.0 billion or 36.8%) and "non-metallic mineral manufactures" (by $3.4 billion or 23.7%).

For the first quarter of 2013 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods rose by 4.0% over the same period in 2012. Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 4.0%, whereas the value of domestic exports decreased by 0.9%. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods increased by 4.9%. A visible trade deficit of $110.3 billion, equivalent to 12.0% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first quarter of 2013.

Comparing the first quarter of 2013 with the preceding quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 1.2%. Within this total, the value of re-exports decreased by 1.2%, while the value of domestic exports went down by 2.4%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods decreased by 2.5%.

A Government spokesman noted that the value of merchandise exports rebounded notably in March over a year earlier, with strong growth across many Asian markets. Yet this was also helped in part by a low base of comparison last year.

The spokesman commented further that looking ahead, the external trading environment is likely to remain rather unsteady, with the prevailing weak final demand in the advanced economies still weighing on regional export activities. In addition, the effect of the labour dispute at the container terminal on trade flows, if any, has yet to be reflected in trade statistics, as the dispute started in late March. As such, Hong Kong's export performance might see some fluctuations in the period ahead. We will monitor the developments closely.


Census & Statistics Department | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
4/25/2013 10:11:47 AM