Exports went down by 1.8 percent to HKD 296.11 billion compared with March of 2014, after a year-on-year increase of 7.2 percent in February 2015. Sales to Asia grew by 1.1 percent, due to increases in Malaysia (+20.1 percent), Thailand (+12.1 percent), India (+9.8 percent), Vietnam (+7.8 percent) and China (the Mainland) (+3.0 percent). On the other hand, overall decreases were recorded in Taiwan (-22.2 percent), Japan (-20.1 percent), Germany (-20.6 percent), United Kingdom (-13.8 percent), USA (-11.8 percent) and Singapore (-6.7 percent).
Exports of articles of apparel and clothing accessories shrank by 31.6 percent; miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares) declined by 10.6 percent; and photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks fell by 14.3 percent; while electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof rose 6.8 percent.
Imports declined 2.7 percent to HKD 342.32 billion compared with March of the previous year, after a year-on-year decrease of 0.9 percent in February 2015, driven by less purchases from Thailand (-16.8 percent), India (-14.4 percent), Japan (-10.1 percent), Switzerland (-5.5 percent), Malaysia (-3.2 percent) and China (the Mainland) (-2.5 percent). In contrast, increases were registered from the USA (+12.3 percent) and Korea (+8.2 percent).
Imports of non-metallic mineral manufactures fell by 14.1 percent; miscellaneous manufactured articles (mainly jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares) decreased 7.4 percent; and electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof by 1.5 percent. However, there was an increase of telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment purchases by 7.9 percent.
The visible trade deficit of $46.2 billion is equivalent to 13.5 percent of the value of imports of goods.
According to a Government spokesman, Hong Kong's near-term export performance will still be constrained by the slow global economic recovery and the headwinds arising from the diverging monetary policy among major central banks. Besides, the Greek debt problem and geopolitical tensions in various regions are also worrying. The Government will monitor the situation closely.