Volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade in February 2017


Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      Further to the external merchandise trade statistics in value terms for February 2017 released earlier on, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (April 20) the volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade for that month.

     As the trade flows in January and February of each year tend to show considerable volatilities due to differences in timing of the Lunar New Year holidays, it is useful to analyse the trade figures for these two months taken together. Comparing the first two months of 2017 with the same period in 2016, the volume of Hong Kong's re-exports of goods increased by 5.4%, whereas that of domestic exports decreased by 4.9%. Taken together, the volume of total exports of goods increased by 5.3%.

Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods increased by 7.8%.

     In February 2017, the volume of Hong Kong's re-exports of goods increased by 16.7% over February 2016, whereas that of domestic exports decreased by 0.8%. Taken together, the volume of total exports of goods increased by 16.5%. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods increased by 23.6%.

     Comparing the three-month period ending February 2017 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the volume of total exports of goods increased by 2.4%.

Within this total, the volume of re-exports increased by 2.5%, whereas that of domestic exports decreased by 6.2%. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods increased by 3.9%.

     Changes in volume of external merchandise trade are derived from changes in external merchandise trade value with the effect of price changes discounted.

     As regards price changes in the first two months of 2017 over the same period in 2016, the prices of re-exports of goods increased by 1.5%, while those of domestic exports increased by 2.3%. Taken together, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 1.6%.

Concurrently, the prices of imports of goods increased by 1.4%.

     Comparing February 2017 with February 2016, the prices of re-exports of goods increased by 1.6%, while those of domestic exports increased by 3.9%. Taken together, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 1.6%. Concurrently, the prices of imports of goods increased by 1.6%.

     Price changes in external merchandise trade are reflected by changes in unit value indices of external merchandise trade which are compiled based on average unit values or, for certain commodities, specific price data.

     The terms of trade index is derived from the ratio of price index of total exports of goods to that of imports of goods.

Compared with the same periods in 2016, the index remained virtually unchanged in February 2017, whereas it increased by 0.1% in the first two months of 2017.

     Changes in the unit value and volume of total exports of goods by main destination are shown in Table 1.

     Comparing February 2017 with February 2016, the total export volume to Taiwan and the mainland of China (the Mainland) increased substantially, by 82.0% and 32.3% respectively. Concurrently, the total export volume to India and Japan increased by 11.4% and 5.0% respectively. On the other hand, a double-digit decline of 10.5% was recorded for the total export volume to the USA.

     Over the same period of comparison, the total export prices to the Mainland and Taiwan increased by 2.8% and 0.4% respectively.

On the other hand, the total export prices to India, the USA and Japan decreased by 0.1%, 0.2% and 3.0% respectively.

     Changes in the unit value and volume of imports of goods by main supplier are shown in Table 2.

     Comparing February 2017 with February 2016, the import volume from Korea, Taiwan, Japan and the Mainland increased significantly, by 41.1%, 34.1%, 26.8% and 22.5% respectively. Concurrently, a double-digit growth of 10.1% was recorded for import volume from Singapore.

     Over the same period of comparison, the import prices from all main suppliers increased: Korea (+12.9%), Singapore (+5.6%), Taiwan (+3.0%), the Mainland (+1.8%) and Japan (+1.2%).

Further information

     Details of the above statistics are published in the February 2017 issue of "Hong Kong Merchandise Trade Index Numbers". Users can download the publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (http://www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp230.jsp?productCode=B1020006">www.censtatd.gov.hk/hkstat/sub/sp230.jsp?productCode=B1020006).

     Enquiries on merchandise trade indices may be directed to Trade Analysis Section (1) of the C&SD (Tel: 2582 4918).



Published on: 2017-04-20

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