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ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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Hong Kong exports down 2.4% to $343.1b in April

The total value of exported goods dropped 2.4%.

The value of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods both recorded YoY decreased 2.4% and 4.3% respectively as the total exports to Asia went down 2.6% between May 2018 and 2019, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) reveals.

After a YoY decrease of 2.6% in April, the value of total exports of goods fell 2.4% to $343.1b in Hong Kong. On the other hand, the value of imports of goods decreased by 4.3% in May to $377.8b, after a 5.5% YoY decrease in April.

A visible trade deficit of $34.7b, equivalent to 9.2% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in May 2019.

The first five months of 2019 saw the value of total exports of goods drop 2.5% YoY. The value of imported goods also decreased 3.8%, with a visible trade deficit of $188.8b, equivalent to 10.6%.

Comparing the three-month period ending May 2019 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods grew 6.3%. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods fell 6.6%.

C&SD noted that the near-term outlook for Hong Kong's exports will continue to be clouded by various external uncertainties.

In Asia, the values of total exports to some major destinations also decreased 4.0% in Thailand, 11.6% in Malaysia, 9.5% in Singapore and 4.1% in mainland China. On the other hand, increases were recorded in Korea at 24.5%, the Philippines by 12.1% and 8.9% in India.

Decreases also registered in the values of total exports to major destinations in other regions, in particular 16.9% in Germany and 15% in the USA. Concurrently, the United Kingdom increased 9.3%.

Decreases also registered in the values of imports from some major suppliers in Korea by 29.6%, India by 18.6%, Japan by 10.6%, 4.2% in Malaysia and 4% in mainland China. Meanwhile, the values of imports from Switzerland and the USA increased 22.0% and 2.1% respectively.

The values of total exports also fell in some principal commodity divisions in May 2019 as compared with the same month in 2018. Office and automatic data processing machines dipped $6.2b or 15.7%; electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and their electrical parts by $2.7b or 2.0%; and miscellaneous manufactured articles by $1.6b or 7.1%. However, telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment increased $1.8b or 2.9%.

The value of imported goods decreased in some principal commodity divisions. Electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof by $7.9b or 5.3%, office and automatic data processing machines by $5.1b or 14.3% and telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment by $2.4b or 4.1%. However, an increase registered in photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks by $0.6b or 6.5%.

For the first five months of 2019, YoY decreases registered in the values of total exports of some principal commodity divisions. Office and automatic data processing machines dropped $22.1b or 12.3%, electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof by $15.6b or 2.5% and miscellaneous manufactured articles by $5b or 5.3%. On the other hand, exports of telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment by $12.6b or 4.4% YoY.

Meanwhile, values of some imported principal commodity divisions, in particular electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof fell by $49.7b or 7.1% YoY, office machines and automatic data processing machines by $17.3b or 10.8% YoY and non-metallic mineral manufactures by $5.0b or 5.9% YoY. However, a YoY increase registered in the value of imports of power generating machinery and equipment by $5.8b or 19.7%. 

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