Volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade in October 2012
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     Further to the external merchandise trade statistics in value terms for October 2012 released earlier on, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (December 18) the volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade for that month.

     In October 2012, the volume of Hong Kong's re-exports of goods decreased by 4.6% over October 2011, while that of domestic exports decreased by 10.4%. Taken together, the volume of total exports of goods decreased by 4.7%. On the other hand, the volume of imports of goods increased by 1.4%.

     Comparing the first ten months of 2012 with the same period in 2011, the volume of Hong Kong's re-exports of goods decreased by 2.2%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 15.2%. Taken together, the volume of total exports of goods decreased by 2.5%. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods decreased by 0.6%.

     Comparing the three-month period ending October 2012 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the volume of total exports of goods increased by 4.4%. Within this total, the volume of re-exports increased by 4.5%, whereas that of domestic exports decreased by 0.8%. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods increased by 5.2%.

     Changes in volume of external merchandise trade are derived from changes in external merchandise trade value with the effect of price changes discounted.

     Comparing October 2012 with October 2011, both the prices of re-exports and domestic exports of goods increased by 2.2%. Taken together, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 2.2%. Concurrently, the prices of imports of goods increased by 2.5%.

     As regards price changes in the first ten months of 2012 over the same period in 2011, the prices of re-exports of goods increased by 3.9%, while those of domestic exports increased by 2.4%. Taken together, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 3.8%. Concurrently, the prices of imports of goods increased by 3.6%.

     Price changes in external merchandise trade are reflected by changes in unit value indices of external merchandise trade which are compiled based on average unit values or, for certain commodities, specific price data.

     The terms of trade index is derived from the ratio of price index of total exports of goods to that of imports of goods. Compared with the same period in 2011, the index decreased by 0.3% in October 2012, whereas it increased by 0.3% in the first ten months of 2012.

     Changes in the unit value and volume of total exports of goods by main destination are shown in Table 1.

     Comparing October 2012 with October 2011, the total export volume to Japan and Germany recorded double-digit decreases of 14.0% and 11.7% respectively. Concurrently, the total export volume to Taiwan, the USA and the mainland of China (the Mainland) decreased by 4.7%, 4.2% and 0.4% respectively.

     Over the same period of comparison, the total export prices to all main destinations increased: Japan (+5.9%), Germany (+4.3%), the USA (+2.9%), the Mainland (+1.8%) and Taiwan (+1.4%).

     Changes in the unit value and volume of imports of goods by main supplier are shown in Table 2.

     Comparing October 2012 with October 2011, the import volume from the Mainland increased by 8.9%. Concurrently, the import volume from Taiwan increased marginally by 0.1%. On the other hand, the import volume from the USA, Japan and Singapore decreased by 6.3%, 8.8% and 11.8% respectively.

     Over the same period of comparison, the import prices from Singapore, Taiwan, the Mainland and the USA increased by 4.0%, 2.6%, 2.5% and 2.1% respectively. On the other hand, the import prices from Japan decreased by 0.3%.

Further information

     Details of the above statistics are published in the October 2012 issue of "Hong Kong Merchandise Trade Index Numbers". Users can download the publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp230.jsp?productCode=B1020006).

     Enquiries on merchandise trade indices may be directed to Trade Analysis Section (1) of the C&SD (Tel: 2582 4918).

Ends/Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:30

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