The value of Hong Kong’s total exports of goods decreased by 9.0% in June year-on-year to HKD309.6 billion (US$39.6 billion), after a year-on-year decrease of 2.4% in May 2019, the Census & Statistics Department announced.
This is the eighth straight month of declines for the territory, and the worst outcome in more than three years as Hong Kong continued to feel the pain of the slowdown in China and the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war.
The value of imports fell 7.5% to HKD364.8 billion in June, the seventh straight month of decline, and also the biggest drop since February 2016.
A trade deficit of HKD55.2 billion, or 15.1% of the value of imports, was recorded in the month.
For the first half of 2019, the value of total exports of goods dropped by 3.6% from the same period in 2018. The value of imports of goods decreased by 4.5%. A trade deficit of HKD244.2 billion, equivalent to 11.4% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the first half of 2019.
Total exports to Asia went down by 8.4% in June 2019 compared with June 2018. Decreases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular Thailand, China, Korea, Malaysia, and Japan. On the other hand, increases were recorded in the values of total exports to the Philippines and Taiwan.
Apart from destinations in Asia, decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular Germany and the USA, while an increase was registered in the value of total exports to the United Kingdom.
For the first half of 2019, year-on-year decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations, in particular India, the USA, Taiwan, Germany, and the China. However, year-on-year increases were registered in the values of total exports to Singapore and Korea.
A government spokesman said the year-on-year decrease in the value of merchandise exports enlarged to 9.0% in June, as the soft global economic environment and continued U.S.-China trade tensions put further strains on manufacturing activities and trade flows in Asia. Exports to most major markets recorded declines of varying degrees.
Looking ahead, the near-term performance of Hong Kong’s merchandise exports will remain constrained by the softening global economy and uncertainties arising from U.S.-China trade tensions and other external developments, said the census department.