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



External merchandise trade statistics for June 2020

 



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July 27, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the external merchandise trade statistics for June 2020. In June 2020, the values of Hong Kong’s total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year decreases, at 1.3% and 7.1% respectively.

In June 2020, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 1.3% over a year earlier to HK$305.6 billion (US$39.1 billion), after a year-on-year decrease of 7.4% in May 2020. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 7.1% over a year earlier to HK$338.9 billion (US$43.4 billion) in June 2020, after a year-on-year decrease of 12.3% in May 2020. A visible trade deficit of HK$33.3 billion (US$4.2 billion), equivalent to 9.8% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in June 2020.

For the first half of 2020 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 6.9% over the same period in 2019. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 9.4%. A visible trade deficit of HK$175.2 billion (US$22.4 billion), equivalent to 9.0% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first half of 2020.

Comparing the second quarter of 2020 with the preceding quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods increased by 5.8%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods increased by 0.3%.

Analysis by country/territory
Comparing June 2020 with June 2019, total exports to Asia as a whole grew by 2.1%. In this region, increases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations, in particular Taiwan (+21.6%) and the mainland of China (the Mainland) (+8.8%). On the other hand, decreases were recorded in the values of total exports to India (‑38.3%), the Philippines (-29.4%), Thailand (-20.1%), Japan (-17.9%) and Korea (-15.6%).

Apart from destinations in Asia, decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the United Kingdom (‑36.2%), the USA (-21.4%) and Germany (-17.0%).

Over the same period of comparison, decreases were registered in the values of imports from some major suppliers, in particular the USA (-32.8%), Japan (-9.8%), Korea (‑9.3%), Thailand (-5.9%) and the Mainland (-5.8%). Concurrently, increases were recorded in the values of imports from Vietnam (+43.4%), Malaysia (+15.5%) and Taiwan (+14.5%).

For the first half of 2020 as a whole, year-on-year decreases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular India (-26.0%), the USA (‑23.9%), Germany (‑21.6%), Singapore (-19.3%), Korea (-12.5%) and Japan (-11.2%). However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports to Taiwan (+10.7%) and the Mainland (+2.3%).

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 (-20.7%), the Mainland (‑13.6%) and Japan (-5.4%). However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports from Vietnam (+48.0%), Taiwan (+15.8%), Korea (+7.5%) and Singapore (+4.2%).

Analysis by major commodity
Comparing June 2020 with June 2019, decreases were registered in the values of total exports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular “miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewelry, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares)” [by HK$6.2 billion (US$794 million) or -29.7%[, “non-metallic mineral manufactures” [by HK$4.4 billion (US$564 million) or ‑35.4%], “articles of apparel and clothing accessories” [by HK$4.4 billion (US$564 million) or -45.4%] and “photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks” [by HK$3.5 billion (US$448 million) or ‑37.3%]. However, increases were registered in the values of total exports of “electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof” [by HK$14.7 billion (US$1.8 billion) or 12.3%] and “office machines and automatic data processing machines” [by HK$5.6 billion (US$717 million) or 19.3%].

Over the same period of comparison, decreases were registered in the values of imports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular “non-metallic mineral manufactures” [by HK$8.5 billion (US$1.08 billion) or ‑51.1%], “miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewelry, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares)” [by HK$6.3 billion (US$807 million) or -29.1%] and “photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks” [by HK$4.3 billion (US$551 million) or ‑43.8%]. However, increases were registered in the values of imports of “telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment” [by HK$5.5 billion (US$705 million) or 11.5%] and “electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof” [by HK$3.8 billion (US$487 million) or 2.6%].

For the first half of 2020 as a whole, year-on-year decreases were registered in the values of total exports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular “telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment” [by HK$61.2 billion (US$7.8 billion) or -17.6%], “non-metallic mineral manufactures” (by HK$33.3 billion (US$4.2 billion) or -40.3%) and “miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewelry, goldsmiths' and silversmiths’ wares)” [by HK$31.9 billion (US$4 billion) or -28.5%]. However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports of “electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof” [by HK$36.6 billion (US$4.6 billion) or 5.1%] and “office machines and automatic data processing machines” [by HK$13.7 billion (US$1.7 billion) or 7.3%].

Over the same period of comparison, year-on-year decreases were registered in the values of imports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular “telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment” [by HK$43.5 billion (US$5.5 billion) or -13.5%], “non-metallic mineral manufactures” [by HK$42.5 billion (US$5.4 billion) or -44.0%] and “miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewelry, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares)” [by HK$30.2 billion (US$3.8 billion) or -23.2%]. However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports of “electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof” [by HK$22.8 billion (US$2.9 billion) or 2.9%] and “power generating machinery and equipment” [by HK$10.1 billion (US$1.2 billion) or 23.2%]. 

Commentary
A Government spokesman said that the moderated year-on-year decline in merchandise exports in June mainly reflected a pick-up in exports to the Mainland. The low base of comparison in the same month last year also partly contributed. Exports to the US, EU and many other major Asian markets fell by varying degrees amid a deep global recession. For the second quarter as a whole, the value of merchandise exports fell by 4.3% from a year earlier, visibly narrower than the decline of 9.7% in the first quarter.

Looking ahead, the continued spread of COVID-19 in various parts of the world is still a key threat to the global economic outlook. The increasingly tense China-US relations have also added uncertainties. In face of a challenging external environment, Hong Kong's merchandise export performance will likely remain constrained in the near term. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely.


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