Volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade in May 2013
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     Further to the external merchandise trade statistics in value terms for May 2013 released earlier on, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (July 18) the volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade for that month.

     In May 2013, the volume of Hong Kong's re-exports of goods decreased by 1.0% over May 2012, while that of domestic exports decreased by 11.5%. Taken together, the volume of total exports of goods decreased by 1.2%. On the other hand, the volume of imports of goods increased by 2.6%.

     Comparing the first five months of 2013 with the same period in 2012, the volume of Hong Kong's re-exports of goods increased by 4.0%, whereas that of domestic exports decreased by 6.6%. Taken together, the volume of total exports of goods increased by 3.8%. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods increased by 5.0%.

     Comparing the three-month period ending May 2013 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the volume of total exports of goods decreased by 0.4%. Within this total, the volume of re-exports decreased by 0.4%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 0.2%. On the other hand, the volume of imports of goods increased by 1.2%.

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

     Comparing May 2013 with May 2012, the prices of re-exports of goods increased by 0.5%, while those of domestic exports increased by 2.1%. Taken together, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 0.5%. On the other hand, the prices of imports of goods decreased by 0.3%.

     As regards price changes in the first five months of 2013 over the same period in 2012, the prices of re-exports of goods increased by 0.6%, while those of domestic exports increased by 3.3%. Taken together, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 0.6%. Concurrently, the prices of imports of goods increased by 0.8%.

     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 periods in 2012, the index increased by 0.8% in May 2013, whereas it decreased by 0.2% in the first five months of 2013.

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

     Comparing May 2013 with May 2012, the total export volume to the USA, Taiwan and Japan decreased by 11.3%, 10.4% and 9.5% respectively. On the other hand, the total export volume to the mainland of China (the Mainland) increased by 1.6%. Concurrently, the total export volume to India increased significantly, by 21.8%.

     Over the same period of comparison, the total export prices to India, the USA and Taiwan increased by 4.4%, 3.9% and 3.5% respectively. On the other hand, the total export prices to the Mainland and Japan decreased by 0.6% and 2.8% respectively.

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

     Comparing May 2013 with May 2012, the import volume from Taiwan, the Mainland and the USA increased by 7.6%, 3.1% and 1.6% respectively. On the other hand, the import volume from Singapore and Japan decreased by 3.4% and 10.5% respectively.

     Over the same period of comparison, the import prices from Japan, Singapore and the Mainland decreased by 3.0%, 2.0% and 1.1% respectively. On the other hand, the import prices from the USA and Taiwan increased by 2.9% and 3.1% respectively.

Further information

     Details of the above statistics are published in the May 2013 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/Thursday, July 18, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:30

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