External merchandise trade statistics for June 2017
External merchandise trade statistics for June 2017
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     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (July 27) the external merchandise trade statistics for June 2017. In June 2017, the values of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year increases, at 11.1% and 10.4% respectively.

     In June 2017, the value of total exports of goods (comprising re-exports and domestic exports) increased by 11.1% over a year earlier to $329.4 billion, after a year-on-year increase of 4.0% in May 2017. Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 11.2% to $325.7 billion in June 2017, while the value of domestic exports increased by 2.4% to $3.7 billion. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods increased by 10.4% over a year earlier to $377.7 billion in June 2017, after a year-on-year increase of 6.6% in May 2017. A visible trade deficit of $48.3 billion, equivalent to 12.8% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in June 2017.

     For the first half of 2017 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods rose by 8.8% over the same period in 2016. Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 8.8%, while the value of domestic exports increased by 3.2%. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods increased by 9.4%. A visible trade deficit of $228.5 billion, equivalent to 11.3% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first half of 2017.

     Comparing the second quarter of 2017 with the preceding quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods increased by 1.1%. Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 1.2%, whereas the value of domestic exports went down by 7.1%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods decreased by 1.4%.

Analysis by country/territory

     Comparing June 2017 with June 2016, total exports to Asia as a whole grew by 14.1%. In this region, increases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular India (+38.0%), Taiwan (+35.0%), Singapore (+18.6%), Thailand (+15.6%), Japan (+13.4%), the Philippines (+12.5%) and the mainland of China (the Mainland) (+12.2%).

     Apart from destinations in Asia, increases were also registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the United Kingdom (+24.8%) and the USA (+0.6%). Concurrently, a decrease was registered in the value of total exports to Germany (-4.1%).

     Over the same period of comparison, increases were registered in the values of imports from most major suppliers, in particular Korea (+22.4%), Malaysia (+20.7%), Taiwan (+20.7%), the Philippines (+18.8%) and Singapore (+13.0%). The value of imports from the Mainland also increased by 6.8%. Concurrently, a decrease was registered in the value of imports from Japan (-4.0%).

     For the first half of 2017 as a whole, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular India (+47.6%), Taiwan (+35.0%), the Netherlands (+19.2%), Vietnam (+13.3%), the Mainland (+9.5%) and Japan (+6.8%).

     Over the same period of comparison, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports from most major suppliers, in particular Korea (+33.7%), India (+30.7%), the Philippines (+30.0%), Taiwan (+13.7%) and Singapore (+12.5%). The value of imports from the Mainland also increased by 6.6%.

Analysis by major commodity

     Comparing June 2017 with June 2016, 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 $15.4 billion or 15.1%), "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $5.6 billion or 18.8%) and "miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares)" (by $3.2 billion or 21.4%). However, a decrease was registered in the value of total exports of "articles of apparel and clothing accessories" (by $0.5 billion or -4.4%).

     Over the same period of comparison, increases were registered in the values of imports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $19.4 billion or 16.4%), "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $4.3 billion or 15.5%) and "miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares)" (by $2.9 billion or 16.1%). However, a decrease was registered in the value of imports of "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $1.1 billion or -1.7%).

     For the first half of 2017 as a whole, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $79.2 billion or 14.4%), "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $17.0 billion or 5.1%) and "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $16.5 billion or 10.0%). However, a year-on-year decrease was registered in the value of total exports of "articles of apparel and clothing accessories" (by $4.9 billion or -8.7%).

     Over the same period of comparison, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports of some principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $105.0 billion or 17.0%), "miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares)" (by $14.3 billion or 12.9%) and "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $12.3 billion or 3.8%). However, a year-on-year decrease was registered in the value of imports of "articles of apparel and clothing accessories" (by $3.0 billion or -6.4%).

Commentary

     A Government spokesman noted that the value of merchandise exports picked up visibly and showed a double-digit growth in June over a year earlier, amid sustained expansion in global economic activity. Strong growth in exports to the Mainland and many other major Asian markets continued to be the key propellant to the export performance.

     The spokesman commented further that looking ahead, sustained growth in the global economy would render further support to Hong Kong's external trade. While downside risks in the external environment have receded, uncertainties still persist, including those arising from US monetary policy normalisation, negotiations related to post-Brexit arrangement, the possible rise in protectionist sentiment and geopolitical tensions in various regions. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Further information

     Table 1 at the annex presents the analysis of external merchandise trade statistics for June 2017. Table 2 presents the original monthly trade statistics from January 2014 to June 2017, and Table 3 gives the seasonally adjusted series for the same period.

     The values of total exports of goods to 10 main destinations for June 2017 are shown in Table 4, whereas the values of imports of goods from 10 main suppliers are given in Table 5.

     Tables 6 and 7 show the values of total exports and imports of 10 principal commodity divisions for June 2017.

     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 June 2017 will be released in mid-August 2017.

     The June 2017 issue of "Hong Kong External Merchandise Trade" contains detailed analysis on the performance of Hong Kong's external merchandise trade in June 2017. Detailed merchandise trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/territory are published in the June 2017 issue of "Hong Kong Merchandise Trade Statistics". The two publications will be available in mid-August 2017. Users can download them free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp230.jsp).

     Enquiries on merchandise trade statistics may be directed to the Trade Analysis Section (2) of the C&SD (Tel: 2582 5042).
 
Ends/Thursday, July 27, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:30
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