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



External merchandise trade statistics for December 2019

 



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January 30, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the external merchandise trade statistics for December 2019. In December 2019, the value of Hong Kong’s total exports of goods increased by 3.3%, whereas the value of imports of goods decreased by 1.9% over a year earlier.

In December 2019, the value of total exports of goods increased by 3.3% over a year earlier to HK$351.3 billion (US$45 billion), after a year-on-year decrease of 1.4% in November 2019. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 1.9% over a year earlier to HK$383.8 billion (US$49.2 billion) in December 2019, after a year-on-year decrease of 5.8% in November 2019. A visible trade deficit of HK$32.5 billion (US$416 million), equivalent to 8.5% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in December 2019.

For 2019 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods dropped by 4.1% over 2018. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 6.5%. A visible trade deficit of HK$426.8 billion (US$54.7 billion), equivalent to 9.7% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in 2019.

Comparing the fourth quarter of 2019 with the preceding quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods increased by 0.5%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods decreased by 1.6%.

For 2019 as a whole, year-on-year decreases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular the USA (-14.8%), India (-12.0%), Germany (-8.9%), Japan (-6.4%) and the Netherlands (-4.4%). The value of total exports to the Mainland also decreased by 3.3%. However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports to Singapore (+4.1%) and Taiwan (+2.4%).

Over the same period of comparison, year-on-year decreases were registered in the values of imports from most major suppliers, in particular Korea (-20.9%), India (-19.0%), Malaysia (-14.3%), the USA (-7.9%) and Singapore (-7.5%). The value of imports from the Mainland also decreased by 5.9%. On the other hand, the value of imports from Vietnam increased by 18.5%.

A Government spokesman said that the value of merchandise exports resumed a modest year-on-year growth of 3.3% in December 2019, mainly due to a visible increase in exports to the Mainland upon a low base of comparison. Exports to the major advanced economies remained weak, whereas those to other major Asian markets were mixed. For 2019 as a whole, the value of merchandise exports fell by 4.1%, the largest annual decline since 2009.

Looking ahead, Hong Kong’s export performance is still subject to high uncertainties in the near term. While global economic conditions showed some signs of stabilization in the latter part of last year, partly helped by reduced trade tensions between the US and the Mainland, external uncertainties are still high including those associated with lingering trade disputes among major economies, elevated geopolitical tensions and the development of Brexit. Particular attention should also be paid to the development of the novel coronavirus infection as it may weigh on economic performance of some Asian economies and disrupt economic activities in Hong Kong. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely. 


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