Volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade in May 2017
Volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade in May 2017
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     Further to the external merchandise trade statistics in value terms for May 2017 released earlier on, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (July 20) the volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade for that month.

     In May 2017, the volume of Hong Kong's re-exports of goods increased by 2.6% over May 2016, while that of domestic exports increased by 1.9%. Taken together, the volume of total exports of goods increased by 2.6%. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods increased by 5.0%.

     Comparing the first five months of 2017 with the same period in 2016, the volume of Hong Kong's re-exports of goods increased by 6.8%, while that of domestic exports increased by 0.4%. Taken together, the volume of total exports of goods increased by 6.8%. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods increased by 7.5%.

     Comparing the three-month period ending May 2017 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the volume of total exports of goods increased by 0.4%. Within this total, the volume of re-exports increased by 0.4%, while that of domestic exports increased by 0.4%. On the other hand, the volume of imports of goods decreased by 2.7%.

     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 2017 with May 2016, the prices of re-exports of goods increased by 1.4%, while those of domestic exports increased by 2.0%. Taken together, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 1.4%. Concurrently, the prices of imports of goods increased by 1.7%.

     As regards price changes in the first five months of 2017 over the same period in 2016, the prices of re-exports of goods increased by 1.5%, while those of domestic exports increased by 2.7%. Taken together, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 1.5%. Concurrently, the prices of imports of goods increased by 1.6%.

     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 periods in 2016, the index decreased by 0.4% in May 2017, whereas it remained virtually unchanged in the first five months of 2017.

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

     Comparing May 2017 with May 2016, the total export volume to India increased substantially, by 30.8%. Concurrently, the total export volume to Taiwan, Japan, the USA and the mainland of China (the Mainland) increased by 12.8%, 8.1%, 2.6% and 1.1% respectively.

     Over the same period of comparison, the total export prices to Taiwan and the Mainland increased by 3.4% and 2.6% respectively. On the other hand, the total export prices to Japan, the USA and India decreased by 0.9%, 1.3% and 1.3% respectively.

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

     Comparing May 2017 with May 2016, the import volume from Japan, Singapore, Korea and the Mainland increased by 6.5%, 5.7%, 3.1% and 1.2% respectively. On the other hand, the import volume from Taiwan decreased by 1.5%.

     Over the same period of comparison, the import prices from all main suppliers increased: Korea (+9.5%), Singapore (+3.9%), Taiwan (+2.4%), the Mainland (+1.6%) and Japan (+0.8%).

Further information

     Details of the above statistics are published in the May 2017 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 the Trade Analysis Section (1) of the C&SD (Tel: 2582 4918).
 
Ends/Thursday, July 20, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:30
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