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


External merchandise trade statistics for August 2020

 



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September 24, 2020 - The Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government released today (September 24) the external merchandise trade statistics for August 2020. In August 2020, the values of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year decreases, at 2.3% and 5.7% respectively.

In August 2020, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 2.3% over a year earlier to HK$344.5 billion (US$44.1 billion), after a year-on-year decrease of 3.0% in July 2020. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 5.7% over a year earlier to HK$359.1 billion (US$46 billion) in August 2020, after a year-on-year decrease of 3.4% in July 2020. A visible trade deficit of HK$14.6 billion (US$1.8 billion), equivalent to 4.1% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in August 2020.

For the first eight months of 2020 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 5.8% over the same period in 2019. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 8.1%. A visible trade deficit of HK$219.7 billion (US$28.1 billion), equivalent to 8.3% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first eight months of 2020.

Comparing the three-month period ending August 2020 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods increased by 0.3%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods increased by 0.6%.

Comparing August 2020 with August 2019, total exports to Asia as a whole went down by 1.8%. Apart from destinations in Asia, decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular Germany (-24.2%) and the USA (-14.9%). 

Over the same period of comparison, decreases were registered in the values of imports from some major suppliers, in particular the USA (-29.3%), Korea (-11.8%), Japan (‑6.6%) and the Mainland (-6.1%). Concurrently, increases were recorded in the values of imports from Taiwan (+20.8%) and Vietnam (+13.6%).

For the first eight 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 (-22.0%), Germany (‑21.1%), India (-20.0%), Singapore (-17.8%), Korea (-13.0%) and Japan (-12.7%). However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports to Taiwan (+8.0%) and the Mainland (+2.2%).

Over the same period of comparison, year-on-year decreases were registered in the values of imports from some major suppliers, in particular the USA (-22.0%), the Mainland (‑11.9%) and Japan (-7.3%). However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports from Vietnam (+40.6%), Taiwan (+20.3%), Korea (+5.3%) and Singapore (+4.5%).

A Government spokesman said that merchandise exports continued to fall moderately year-on-year in August as the global economy remained weak. Exports to the US and the EU posted narrower declines alongside the gradual economic recovery in these markets. Yet, exports to the Mainland turned to a mild decline, and those to other major Asian markets showed mixed performance.

Looking ahead, the COVID-19 pandemic will remain a major downside risk to the global economic outlook until an effective vaccine is widely available. The development of China-US relations and geopolitical tensions also add uncertainties. Hong Kong’s merchandise export performance will thus likely remain constrained in the near term. The Government will monitor relevant developments closely.

 


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