External Merchandise Trade Statistics for August 2010
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     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (September 27) the external merchandise trade statistics for August 2010.  In August 2010, the values of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods both showed significant year-on-year increases, at 36.0% and 28.4% respectively.

     In August 2010, the value of total exports of goods (comprising re-exports and domestic exports) increased by 36.0% over a year earlier to $290.1 billion, after a year-on-year increase of 23.3% in July 2010.  Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 36.3% to $283.9 billion in August 2010, while the value of domestic exports increased by 23.2% to $6.2 billion.  Concurrently, the value of imports of goods increased by 28.4% over a year earlier to $302.0 billion in August 2010, after a year-on-year increase of 24.9% in July 2010.  A visible trade deficit of $11.9 billion, equivalent to 3.9% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in August 2010.

     For the first eight months of 2010 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods rose by 26.4% over the same period in 2009.  Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 26.5%, while the value of domestic exports increased by 22.5%.  Concurrently, the value of imports of goods increased by 30.4%.  A visible trade deficit of $220.6 billion, equivalent to 10.2% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first eight months of 2010.

     Comparing the three-month period ending August 2010 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods rose by 4.4%.  Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 4.7%, whereas the value of domestic exports went down by 7.8%.  Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods increased by 2.4%.

Analysis by country/territory

     Comparing August 2010 with August 2009, total exports to Asia as a whole grew by 40.7%.  In this region, strong increases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular Thailand (+58.8%), Vietnam (+55.2%), the mainland of China (the Mainland) (+44.7%), India (+40.0%) and Malaysia (+34.7%).

     Apart from destinations in Asia, distinct increases were also registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the USA (+25.1%), the Netherlands (+18.8%), Germany (+17.7%) and the United Kingdom(+10.2%).

     Over the same period of comparison, significant increases were registered in the values of imports from all major suppliers, in particular Singapore (+38.1%), the USA (+35.2%), Japan (+34.9%), Malaysia (+34.8%) and the Mainland (+29.0%).

     For the first eight months of 2010 as a whole, significant year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports to all major destinations, in particular India (+44.2%), Taiwan (+38.0%), the Mainland (+32.9%), Korea (+28.2%) and the Netherlands (+26.4%).

     Over the same period of comparison, significant year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports from all major suppliers, in particular Singapore (+46.3%), Korea (+44.6%), Taiwan (+42.9%), Japan (+41.1%) and the Mainland (+25.8%).

Analysis by major commodity

     Comparing August 2010 with August 2009, significant increases were registered in the values of total exports of all principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $27.8 billion or 54.1%), "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $14.4 billion or 39.7%) and "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $11.3 billion or 50.1%).

     Over the same period of comparison, significant increases were registered in the values of imports of all principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $24.5 billion or 39.4%), "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $9.3 billion or 42.5%) and "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $8.8 billion or 26.4%).

     For the first eight months of 2010 as a whole, significant year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports of most principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $160.7 billion or 40.3%), "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $72.0 billion or 29.0%) and "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $54.6 billion or 35.0%).

     Over the same period of comparison, significant year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports of all principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $199.1 billion or 46.1%), "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $64.9 billion or 29.3%) and "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $51.9 billion or 33.6%).

Commentary

     A Government spokesman notes that merchandise exports picked up strongly in August, driven by the robust Asian markets and the gradual recovery in demand from the United States and Europe.

     The spokesman comments further that the current robust growth momentum of the Asian markets should continue to render a firm support to Hong Kong's exports in the coming months.  However, the uncertainty in the external environment remains elevated, as the strength of the recovery in the advanced economies has weakened lately.

Further information

     Table 1 at the annex presents the analysis of external merchandise trade statistics for August 2010.  Table 2 presents the original monthly trade statistics from January 2007 to August 2010, and Table 3 gives the seasonally adjusted series for the same period.

     The values of total exports of goods to ten main destinations for August 2010 are shown in Table 4, whereas the values of imports of goods from ten main suppliers are given in Table 5.

     Table 6 and 7 show the values of total exports and imports of ten principal commodity divisions for August 2010.

     All the merchandise trade statistics described here are measured at current prices and no account has been taken of changes in prices between the periods of comparison.  A separate analysis of the volume and price movements of external merchandise trade for August 2010 will be released in mid-October 2010.

     The August 2010 issue of "Hong Kong External Merchandise Trade" contains detailed analysis on the performance of Hong Kong's external merchandise trade in August 2010.  Detailed merchandise trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/territory are published in the August 2010 issue of "Hong Kong Merchandise Trade Statistics".  The two publications will be available in mid-October 2010.  Users can download them free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_and_services/products/publications/statistical_report/external_trade/index.jsp).  Print version of "Hong Kong External Merchandise Trade" is available for sale at HK$186 per issue.  Purchase can be done in person at the Publications Unit of the C&SD (Address : 19/F Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai; Tel. : 2582 3025) or through mail order by returning a completed order form which can be downloaded from the C&SD's website (www.censtatd.gov.hk/products_and_services/other_services/provision_of_stat/mail_ordering_of_publications/index.jsp).  Print version of the publication is also available for sale online at the Government Bookstore of the Information Services Department (www.bookstore.gov.hk).

     Enquiries on merchandise trade statistics may be directed to Trade Analysis Section of the C&SD (Tel.: 2582 5042).

Ends/Monday, September 27, 2010
Issued at HKT 16:30

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