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



External merchandise trade statistics for September 2020

 



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October 27, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today the external merchandise trade statistics for September 2020. In September 2020, the values of Hong Kong’s total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year increases, at 9.1% and 3.4% respectively.

In September 2020, the value of total exports of goods increased by 9.1% over a year earlier to HK$379.3 billion (US$48.6 billion), after a year-on-year decrease of 2.3% in August 2020. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods increased by 3.4% over a year earlier to HK$392.0 billion (US$50.2 billion) in September 2020, after a year-on-year decrease of 5.7% in August 2020. A visible trade deficit of HK$12.7 billion (US$1.6 billion), equivalent to 3.2% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in September 2020.

For the first nine months of 2020 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 4.0% over the same period in 2019. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 6.8%. A visible trade deficit of HK$232.9 billion (US$29.8 billion), equivalent to 7.6% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first nine months of 2020.

Comparing the third quarter of 2020 with the preceding quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods increased by 4.4%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods increased by 3.6%.

Comparing September 2020 with September 2019, total exports to Asia as a whole grew by 11.2%. Decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular Germany (-2.5%) and the United Kingdom (-0.9%). An increase was recorded in the value of total exports to the USA (+5.7%).

Over the same period of comparison, increases were registered in the values of imports from some major suppliers, in particular Taiwan (+37.8%), Malaysia (+20.0%), Singapore (+17.1%) and Korea (+15.1%). Concurrently, decreases were recorded in the values of imports from the USA (-21.6%), Japan (-7.4%) and the Mainland (-0.9%).

Comparing September 2020 with September 2019, increases were registered in the values of total exports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular “electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof” [by HK$28.7 billion (US$3.6 billion) or 19.7%], “office machines and automatic data processing machines” (by HK$6.0 billion (US$769 million) or 18.1%) and “telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment” [by HK$3.6 billion (US$461 million) or 5.7%]. However, decreases were registered in the values of total exports of “non-metallic mineral manufactures” [by HK$2.8 billion (US$358 million) or -19.2%], “articles of apparel and clothing accessories” [by HK$2.2 billion (US$282 million) or -26.2%] and “photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks” [by HK$1.1 billion (US$141 million) or -12.0%].

Over the same period of comparison, increases were registered in the values of imports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular “electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof” [by HK$23.3 billion (US$2.9 billion) or 15.7%], “office machines and automatic data processing machines” [by HK$4.4 billion (US$564 million) or 15.4%] and “essential oils and resinoids and perfume materials; toilet, polishing and cleansing preparations” [by HK$2.6 billion (US$333 million) or 66.7%]. However, decreases were registered in the values of imports of “non-metallic mineral manufactures” [by HK$4.3 billion (US$551 million) or -26.4%], “telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment” (by HK$3.4 billion (US$435 million) or -5.3%) and “miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares)” [by HK$3.1 billion (US$397 million) or -13.7%].

A Government spokesman said that merchandise exports turned to a notable year-on-year increase in September, mainly led by the visible acceleration in exports to the Mainland. Exports to the US reverted to moderate growth and those to the EU saw a much narrowed decline in September, thanks to the economic recovery in these markets.  Exports to other major Asian markets showed mixed performance.

Looking ahead, the solid recovery of the Mainland economy will likely render some support to Hong Kong’s exports in the near term. Yet, in some advanced markets the resurgence of COVID-19 infections has cast uncertainty over their near-term outlook. The development of China-US relations, geopolitical tensions and the EU-UK trade negotiations also warrant attention.  The Government will monitor relevant developments closely.

 


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