Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, USA
Hong Kong
News Release


External merchandise trade statistics for March 2020

 



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April 27, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the external merchandise trade statistics for March 2020. In March 2020, the values of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year decreases, at 5.8% and 11.1% respectively.

In March 2020, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 5.8% over a year earlier to HK$323.6 billion (US$41.4 billion), after a year-on-year increase of 4.3% in February 2020. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 11.1% over a year earlier to US$358.4 billion (US$45.9 billion) in March 2020, after a year-on-year decrease of 0.1% in February 2020. A visible trade deficit of HK$34.7 billion (US$4.4 billion), equivalent to 9.7% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in March 2020.

For the first quarter of 2020 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 9.7% over the same period in 2019. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 10.0%. A visible trade deficit of HK$103.8 billion (US$13.3 billion), equivalent to 11.1% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first quarter of 2020.

Comparing the first quarter of 2020 with the preceding quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 9.8%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods decreased by 5.7%.

Comparing March 2020 with March 2019, decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the United Kingdom (‑34.2%), Germany (-33.1%) and the USA (-29.3%).

Over the same period of comparison, decreases were registered in the values of imports from some major suppliers, in particular the USA (-29.5%), Malaysia (-19.6%), the Mainland (-14.1%) and the Philippines (-10.3%). 

For the first quarter of 2020 as a whole, year-on-year decreases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular the USA (-27.4%), Germany (‑26.4%), Japan (-17.9%) and Singapore (-15.5%). The value of total exports to the Mainland also decreased by 1.8%. However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports to Vietnam (+3.0%) and Taiwan (+1.5%).

Over the same period of comparison, year-on-year decreases were registered in the values of imports from some major suppliers, in particular the USA (-19.0%), the Mainland (‑16.9%), Malaysia (-7.8%) and Thailand (-6.0%). However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports from Vietnam (+34.4%), Taiwan (+15.0%), Korea (+12.1%) and Singapore (+7.5%).

A government spokesman said that merchandise exports remained weak in March, falling by 5.8% from a year earlier in value terms. While exports to the Mainland rebounded alongside the gradual resumption of economic activities there, exports to many other major markets, including the US and EU, plunged further.

Looking ahead, as COVID-19 has spread across the world since March and caused a severe contraction of global economic activity, Hong Kong’s merchandise exports will remain under notable pressure in the near term. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely.


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