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



External merchandise trade statistics for May 2020

 



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June 29, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today the external merchandise trade statistics for May 2020. In May 2020, the values of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year decreases, at 7.4% and 12.3% respectively.

In May 2020, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 7.4% over a year earlier to HK$317.6 billion (US$40.7 billion), after a year-on-year decrease of 3.7% in April 2020. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 12.3% over a year earlier to HK$331.3 billion (US$42.4 billion) in May 2020, after a year-on-year decrease of 6.7% in April 2020. A visible trade deficit of HK$13.7 billion (US$1.7 billion), equivalent to 4.1% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in May 2020.

For the first five months of 2020 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 8.0% over the same period in 2019. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 9.8%. A visible trade deficit of HK$141.7 billion (US$18.1 billion), equivalent to 8.9% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first five months of 2020.

Comparing the three-month period ending May 2020 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods increased by 5.1%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods increased by 1.7%.

Comparing May 2020 with May 2019, decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the United Kingdom (‑27.3%), the USA (-14.4%) and Germany (-12.9%).

Over the same period of comparison, decreases were registered in the values of imports from some major suppliers, in particular the United Kingdom (-37.9%), the USA (‑30.4%), the Mainland (-13.9%), Japan (-12.5%) and Singapore (-6.4%). Concurrently, increases were recorded in the values of imports from Vietnam (+69.6%), Taiwan (+6.9%) and Korea (+5.0%).

For the first five months 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 (-24.2%), India (-23.1%), Germany (‑22.4%) and Singapore (-20.8%). However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports to Taiwan (+8.6%) and the Mainland (+1.0%).

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 (-18.2%), the Mainland (‑15.1%), the United Kingdom (‑8.7%) and Japan (-4.4%). However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports from Vietnam (+49.3%), Taiwan (+16.1%), Korea (+11.2%) and Singapore (+5.3%).

A Government spokesman said that the value of merchandise exports showed an enlarged year-on-year decrease of 7.4% in May, in tandem with subdued regional trade flows amid weak global demand. Exports to the Mainland recorded a sharply decelerated growth, while those to many other major markets continued to decline by varying degrees. Taking April and May together, the value of merchandise exports fell by 5.7% from a year earlier. This was narrower than the corresponding decline of 9.7% in the first quarter.

Looking ahead, Hong Kong’s export performance will remain under pressure in the near term. The continued spread of COVID-19 in various places of the world is still a key threat to the global economy. The development of US-Mainland political and economic relations also warrants concern. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely.


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