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



External merchandise trade statistics for April 2020

 



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May 25, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the external merchandise trade statistics for April 2020. In April 2020, the values of Hong Kong’s total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year decreases, at 3.7% and 6.7% respectively.

In April 2020, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 3.7% over a year earlier to HK$309.5 billion (US$39.6 billion), after a year-on-year decrease of 5.8% in March 2020. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 6.7% over a year earlier to HK$332.8 billion (US$42.6 billion) in April 2020, after a year-on-year decrease of 11.1% in March 2020. A visible trade deficit of HK$23.3 billion (US$2.9 billion), equivalent to 7.0% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in April 2020.

For the first four months of 2020 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 8.1% over the same period in 2019. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 9.1%. A visible trade deficit of HK$127.3 billion (US$16.3 billion), equivalent to 10.0% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first four months of 2020.

Comparing the three-month period ending April 2020 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 0.8%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods decreased by 4.0%.

Comparing April 2020 with April 2019, total exports to Asia as a whole grew by 2.7%. Decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the USA (-24.6%), Germany (-19.6%) and the United Kingdom (-6.9%).

Over the same period of comparison, decreases were registered in the values of imports from some major suppliers, in particular the Mainland (-11.2%), Japan (-10.8%) and the USA (-1.1%). Concurrently, increases were recorded in the values of imports from Vietnam (+77.0%), Taiwan (+29.5%) and Korea (+15.3%).

For the first four months of 2020 as a whole, year-on-year decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations, in particular the USA (-26.6%), Germany (-24.7%), Singapore (-18.8%) and India (-18.5%). However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports to Taiwan (+6.5%), Vietnam (+2.4%) and the Mainland (+1.2%).

Over the same period of comparison, year-on-year decreases were registered in the values of imports from some major suppliers, in particular the Mainland (-15.4%), the USA (-15.1%), Malaysia (-4.3%) and Thailand (-3.0%). However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports from Vietnam (+43.5%), Taiwan (+18.8%), Korea (+12.9%) and Singapore (+8.6%).

Comparing April 2020 with April 2019, 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$12.4 billion (US$1.5 billion) or -20.9%], “non-metallic mineral manufactures” [by HK$7.7 billion (US$987 million) or -64.3%] and “miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares)” [by HK$7.2 billion (US$923 million) or -37.3%]. However, increases were registered in the values of total exports of “office machines and automatic data processing machines” [by HK$8.5 billion (US$1.08 billion) or 26.2%] and “electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof” [by HK$7.8 billion (US$1 billion) or 6.2%].

Over the same period of comparison, 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$11.7 billion (US$1.5 billion) or -21.0%], “non-metallic mineral manufactures” [by HK$7.4 billion (US$948 million) or -53.1%] and “petroleum, petroleum products and related materials” [by HK$6.0 billion (US$769 million) or -73.4%]. However, increases were registered in the values of imports of “electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof” [by HK$12.6 billion (US$1.6 billion) or 9.6%] and “office machines and automatic data processing machines” [by HK$3.1 billion (US$397 million) or 11.1%].

Merchandise exports continued to decline in April from a year earlier, though the rate of decline narrowed slightly. Exports to the US and the EU continued to record double-digit falls as the COVID-19 situation remained serious in these markets. While exports to the Mainland increased visibly, those to many other Asian markets recorded decreases of varying degrees.

Looking ahead, the global economy will remain sluggish until the COVID-19 pandemic is well contained. Hong Kong’s merchandise export performance is thus expected to remain under pressure in the near term. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely.


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