Imports went down 11.1 percent over a year ago to HKD 380.8 in August, mostly due to lower purchases of electrical machinery, apparatus & appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-7.6 percent); office machines & automatic data processing machines (-27.3 percent); and telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-16.2 percent). Meanwhile, imports of power generating machinery and equipment jumped 53.8 percent.
Among major trading partners, imports dropped from India (-30.2 percent), Malaysia (-30 percent), South Korea (-17 percent), the US (-16.1 percent), the Mainland (-12.5 percent), Thailand (-11.7 percent) and Singapore (-10.4 percent).
Exports fell 6.3 percent to HKD 352.7 billion, mainly due to lower sales of telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-11.7 percent); electrical machinery, apparatus & appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-4.1 percent); and non-metallic mineral manufactures (-21.5 percent). On the other hand, sales of power generating machinery and equipment advanced 18.1 percent.
Exports to Asia as a whole declined 4.8 percent, in particular Malaysia (-21.6 percent), India (-20.8 percent), Thailand (-16.5 percent), the Mainland (-5.2 percent), Vietnam (-3.3 percent) and Singapore (-2.7 percent). In contrast, sales went up to Taiwan (31.2 percent) and the Philippines (18.1 percent). Apart from destinations in Asia, export decreased to the UK (-13.3 percent) and the US (-8.8 percent), while rose to Germany (+4.7 percent).
A Government spokesman said the value of merchandise exports continued to record a visible year-on-year decline in August 2019, weighed by slackening global economic growth and escalated US-Mainland trade tensions. Exports to many major markets fell further. Uncertainties associated with the development of US-Mainland trade tensions will continue to pose downside risks to the already subdued external trading environment. Hong Kong's merchandise export performance will likely remain weak or even worsen further in the near term. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely.