The value of Hong Kong's total exports and imports in July fell 19.9% and 17.8% respectively over the same period last year, the Census & Statistics Department (CSD) said on Wednesday.
The value of total exports fell 19.9% to HK $212.3 billion after a year-on-year decrease of 5.4% in June, with the value of re-exports falling 19.2% to HK $207.1 billion and the value of domestic exports felling 41.3% to HK $5.1 billion. At the same time the value of imports decreased by 17.8% to HK $233.9 billion.
A visible trade deficit of $21.7 billion, equivalent to 9.3% of the value of imports, was recorded in July.
In the first seven months of this year the value of total exports dropped 17.7% over the same period last year, with the value of re-exports down 16.8% and domestic exports down 42%. Concurrently the value of imports dropped by 18.5%. A visible trade deficit of $99.7 billion, equivalent to 7% of the value of imports, was recorded.
The CSD said the year-on-year decline in export performance widened in July, part of a region-wide phenomenon, as import demand in the advanced economies was still subdued.
The large decline was also partly due to the high base of comparison a year ago. The department said the recovery path would be uneven in the period ahead given demand in overseas markets has yet to indicate any visible improvement in the near future.
Compared with July 2008, total exports to Asia as a whole fell 14.7%, especially in Malaysia (-32.4%), Thailand (-25.8%), Singapore (-25.3%), South Korea (-17.9%) and the Mainland (-15.3%).
Decreases were seen in the value of total exports to the UK (-30.7%), Germany (-29.8%), the US (-29.4%) and Australia (-26.5%).
For the value of imports, decreases were registered in all major suppliers, particularly South Korea (-27.1%), Japan (-23.5%), Singapore (-20.6%), the Mainland (-18.2%) and Taiwan (-18.1%).
Comparing with July 2008, decreases were recorded in the value of total exports, particularly in telecommunications, sound recording and reproducing apparatus, and equipment (down HK $14.2 billion or 30.1%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (HK $6.9 billion or -11.4%); and, apparel and clothing accessories (HK $6.4 billion or -25.8%).
For imports, decreases were seen in telecommunications, sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (down HK $8.5 billion or 21.3%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof HK ($6.4 billion or 9.5%); and, petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (HK $4.7 billion or 41.9%).