Year-on-year, exports declined 2.4 percent to HKD 343.1 billion in May 2019, mainly due to lower sales of office machines & automatic data processing machines (-15.7 percent); electrical machinery, apparatus an& appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-2 percent) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (-7.1 percent). On the other hand, sales of telecommunications & sound recording and reproducing apparatus & equipment rose (2.9 percent).
Exports to Asia as a whole went down 2.6 percent, namely Thailand (-14 percent), Malaysia (-11.6 percent), Singapore (-9.5 percent) and the Mainland (-4.1 percent). In contrast, exports advanced to South Korea (24.5 percent), the Philippines (12.1 percent) and India (8.9 percent). Apart from destinations in Asia, export dropped to Germany (-16.9 percent) and the US (-15 percent).
Imports decreased 4.3 percent to HKD 377.8 billion, mostly due to lower purchases of electrical machinery, apparatus & appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-5.3 percent); office machines & automatic data processing machines (-14.3 percent) and telecommunications & sound recording and reproducing apparatus & equipment (-4.1 percent). Meanwhile, purchases of photographic apparatus, equipment & supplies, optical goods, watches & clocks went up (6.5 percent).
Among major trading partners, imports declined from South Korea (-29.6 percent), India (-18.6 percent), Japan (-10.6 percent), Malaysia (-4.2 percent) and the Mainland (-4 percent). Concurrently, imports increased from Switzerland (22 percent) and the US (2.1 percent).
"A Government spokesman said that merchandise exports remained subdued in May, affected by the weaker global economy and US-Mainland trade tensions. The situation was similar to that in many other Asian economies. Looking ahead, the near-term outlook for Hong Kong's exports will continue to be clouded by various external uncertainties, including notably the evolution of US-Mainland trade relations. The Government will stay vigilant."