External merchandise trade statistics for September 2017
External merchandise trade statistics for September 2017
********************************************************
     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (October 26) the external merchandise trade statistics for September 2017. In September 2017, the values of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods both recorded year-on-year increases, at 9.4% and 9.7% respectively.

     In September 2017, the value of total exports of goods (comprising re-exports and domestic exports) increased by 9.4% over a year earlier to $358.7 billion, after a year-on-year increase of 7.4% in August 2017. Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 9.4% to $354.8 billion in September 2017, while the value of domestic exports increased by 6.5% to $3.9 billion. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods increased by 9.7% over a year earlier to $403.4 billion in September 2017, after a year-on-year increase of 7.7% in August 2017. A visible trade deficit of $44.7 billion, equivalent to 11.1% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in September 2017.

     For the first nine 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 1.4%. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods increased by 8.8%. A visible trade deficit of $338.0 billion, equivalent to 10.7% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first nine months of 2017.

     Comparing the third quarter of 2017 with the preceding quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 0.1%. Within this total, the value of re-exports decreased by 0.2%, whereas the value of domestic exports went up by 3.8%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods increased by 1.4%.

Analysis by country/territory

     Comparing September 2017 with September 2016, total exports to Asia as a whole grew by 9.6%. In this region, increases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular India (+30.8%), Japan (+18.1%), Singapore (+16.9%), Vietnam (+16.9%), Thailand (+16.3%), Taiwan (+12.0%) and the mainland of China (the Mainland) (+7.5%).

     Apart from destinations in Asia, increases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular Germany (+39.0%), the USA (+4.1%) and the United Kingdom (+1.2%).

     Over the same period of comparison, increases were registered in the values of imports from most major suppliers, in particular Korea (+33.6%), the Philippines (+28.1%), Malaysia (+21.5%), India (+21.2%), Taiwan (+16.0%) and Thailand (+10.5%). The value of imports from the Mainland also increased by 6.9%.

     For the first nine 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 (+34.9%), Taiwan (+29.2%), the Netherlands (+15.9%), Vietnam (+11.4%), the Mainland (+9.3%) and Japan (+8.9%).

     Over the same period of comparison, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports from most major suppliers, in particular Korea (+32.3%), the Philippines (+30.3%), India (+19.8%), Malaysia (+14.3%), Singapore (+14.0%) and Taiwan (+11.6%). The value of imports from the Mainland also increased by 6.0%.

Analysis by major commodity

     Comparing September 2017 with September 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 $12.1 billion or 10.1%), "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $5.5 billion or 16.4%) and "miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares)" (by $2.9 billion or 17.7%). However, a decrease was registered in the value of total exports of "articles of apparel and clothing accessories" (by $0.5 billion or -4.2%).

     Over the same period of comparison, increases were registered in the values of imports of most principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $18.7 billion or 14.6%), "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $4.4 billion or 15.0%) and "miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares)" (by $3.3 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 $2.1 billion or -3.0%).

     For the first nine 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 $117.4 billion or 13.2%), "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $29.4 billion or 11.3%) and "telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment" (by $21.9 billion or 4.2%). However, a year-on-year decrease was registered in the value of total exports of "articles of apparel and clothing accessories" (by $8.5 billion or -9.2%).

     Over the same period of comparison, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of imports of most principal commodity divisions, in particular "electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof" (by $151.6 billion or 15.3%), "office machines and automatic data processing machines" (by $20.5 billion or 8.9%) and "miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares)" (by $19.2 billion or 11.5%). However, a year-on-year decrease was registered in the value of imports of "articles of apparel and clothing accessories" (by $5.0 billion or -6.5%).

Commentary

     A Government spokesman noted that merchandise exports showed robust growth in September. Exports to Asian markets remained strong amid vibrant regional trade flows, and those to the US and EU also saw improvement of varying extents.

     The spokesman commented further that looking ahead, the global economic upturn is expected to continue to render support to Hong Kong's exports in the near term. However, external uncertainties persist, including the uncertain pace of US monetary policy normalisation and possible policy actions by other major central banks. Besides, the possible rise in protectionist sentiment, Brexit-related negotiations and elevated geopolitical tensions in various regions are also sources of concern. 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 September 2017. Table 2 presents the original monthly trade statistics from January 2014 to September 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 September 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 September 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 September 2017 will be released in mid-November 2017.

     The September 2017 issue of "Hong Kong External Merchandise Trade" contains detailed analysis on the performance of Hong Kong's external merchandise trade in September 2017. Detailed merchandise trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/territory are published in the September 2017 issue of "Hong Kong Merchandise Trade Statistics". The two publications will be available in mid-November 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, October 26, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:30
NNNN
Attachments
Tables

Under the same press release series:

Upcoming release date:

  • 27 Nov 2017

Related statistical subject(s):