External merchandise trade statistics for July 2017
External merchandise trade statistics for July 2017
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     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (August 24) the external merchandise trade statistics for July 2017. In July 2017, the values of Hong Kong’s total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year increases, at 7.3% and 5.5% respectively.
      
     In July 2017, the value of total exports of goods (comprising re-exports and domestic exports) increased by 7.3% over a year earlier to $326.6 billion, after a year-on-year increase of 11.1% in June 2017. Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 7.4% to $322.9 billion in July 2017, whereas the value of domestic exports decreased by 5.3% to $3.7 billion. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods increased by 5.5% over a year earlier to $356.2 billion in July 2017, after a year-on-year increase of 10.4% in June 2017. A visible trade deficit of $29.6 billion, equivalent to 8.3% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in July 2017.
      
     For the first seven months of 2017 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods rose by 8.5% over the same period in 2016. Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 8.6%, while the value of domestic exports increased by 1.6%. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods increased by 8.7%. A visible trade deficit of $257.8 billion, equivalent to 10.8% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first seven months of 2017.
      
     Comparing the three-month period ending July 2017 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 1.8%. Within this total, the value of re-exports decreased by 1.8%, while the value of domestic exports went down by 2.1%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods decreased by 1.0%.
      
Analysis by country/territory
      
     Comparing July 2017 with July 2016, total exports to Asia as a whole grew by 8.8%. In this region, increases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular the Philippines (+26.7%), Taiwan (+23.5%), Thailand (+12.7%), Japan (+9.0%), the mainland of China (the Mainland) (+8.8%) and Singapore (+7.8%). On the other hand, decreases were recorded in the values of total exports to Malaysia (-1.0%) and India (-0.4%).
      
     Apart from destinations in Asia, decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the United Kingdom (-4.9%) and the USA (-0.6%). Concurrently, an increase was registered in the value of total exports to Germany (+6.7%).
      
     Over the same period of comparison, increases were registered in the values of imports from some major suppliers, in particular the Philippines (+28.9%), Malaysia (+25.4%), Korea (+23.6%), Singapore (+18.1%) and the Mainland (+4.0%). Concurrently, decreases were registered in the values of imports from India (-21.2%), Thailand (-4.8%) and Japan (-4.4%).
      
     For the first seven months of 2017 as a whole, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular India (+40.2%), Taiwan (+33.1%), the Netherlands (+17.1%), Vietnam (+11.4%), the Mainland (+9.3%) and Japan (+7.1%).
      
     Over the same period of comparison, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports from most major suppliers, in particular Korea (+32.2%), the Philippines (+29.8%), India (+23.3%), Singapore (+13.4%) and Malaysia (+12.9%). The value of imports from the Mainland also increased by 6.1%.
      
Analysis by major commodity
      
     Comparing July 2017 with July 2016, 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 $14.2 billion or 13.6%), "professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus" (by $1.9 billion or 28.4%) and "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $1.9 billion or 6.0%). However, a decrease was registered in the value of total exports of "articles of apparel and clothing accessories" (by $1.6 billion or -12.3%).
      
     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 $12.4 billion or 10.3%), "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $2.4 billion or 9.0%) and "professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus" (by $1.2 billion or 16.6%). However, a decrease was registered in the value of imports of "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $3.1 billion or -5.3%).
      
     For the first seven months 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 $93.4 billion or 14.2%), "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $18.3 billion or 9.3%) and "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $17.8 billion or 4.5%). However, a year-on-year decrease was registered in the value of total exports of "articles of apparel and clothing accessories" (by $6.5 billion or -9.4%).
      
     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 $117.1 billion or 15.9%), "miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares)" (by $15.3 billion or 11.9%) and "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $11.8 billion or 6.7%). However, a year-on-year decrease was registered in the value of imports of "articles of apparel and clothing accessories" (by $3.8 billion or -6.6%).
      
Commentary
      
     A Government spokesman noted that merchandise exports continued to grow notably in July over a year earlier, thanks to active regional trade flows amid an improving global economic environment. Exports to the Mainland and many other Asian markets continued to outpace those to the EU and the US.
      
     The spokesman commented further that looking ahead, the moderate expansion of the global economy will likely continue to render support to Asia’s and Hong Kong’s exports in the near term. However, the trading environment is still subject to various uncertainties, including those arising from the US monetary policy normalisation, possible rise in protectionist sentiment, Brexit-related negotiations and elevated 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 July 2017. Table 2 presents the original monthly trade statistics from January 2014 to July 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 July 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 July 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 July 2017 will be released in mid-September 2017.
      
     The July 2017 issue of "Hong Kong External Merchandise Trade" contains detailed analysis on the performance of Hong Kong’s external merchandise trade in July 2017. Detailed merchandise trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/territory are published in the July 2017 issue of "Hong Kong Merchandise Trade Statistics". The two publications will be available in mid-September 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, August 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:30
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