Year-on-year, imports edged up 16.5 percent to HKD 394.6 billion from a 11.1 percent gain in the previous month. Imports were driven by higher purchases of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (25.3 percent); office machines and automatic data processing machines (38.5 percent) and telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (10.0 percent). In contrast, purchases fell for miscellaneous manufactured articles (-5.5 percent), namely jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares.
Purchases advanced mainly from: Malaysia (+69.7 percent), Korea (+44.1 percent), Taiwan (+22.3 percent), Singapore (+20.3 percent), Philippines (+18.8 percent) and China (+18.4 percent).
Exports rose 15.9 percent to HKD 351.4 billion, following a 8.1 increase in April. Sales to Asia as a whole surged 15.8 percent, in particular to Singapore (+43.9 percent), Malaysia (+43.6 percent), Philippines (+25.5 percent), China (+19.2 percent), Thailand (+18.6 percent) and Japan (+13.0 percent). Meanwhile, decreases were recorded in exports to India (-21.7 percent) and Taiwan (-1.9 percent).
By commodity, shipments increased for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (22.8 percent); office machines and automatic data processing machines (32.7 percent) and telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (10.0 percent). On the other hand, exports dropped for non-metallic mineral manufactures (-13.2 percent).
Considering the first five months of 2018, the trade deficit widened to HKD 219.8 billion from HKD 180.5 billion in the same period of 2017, as exports went up 10.7 percent and imports advanced 11.9 percent.