Hong Kong's Census and Statistics Department released the external merchandise trade statistics for August on Tuesday, which showed that the values of Hong Kong's total exports and imports of goods increased 0.6 percent and 0.9 percent year-on-year respectively.
The value of total exports of goods in August increased by 0.6 percent from a year earlier to 311.7 billion HK dollars (40.2 billion U.S. dollars), after a year-on-year decrease of 3.5 percent in July.
Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 0.7 percent to 306.2 billion HK dollars in August, whereas the value of domestic exports decreased by 7.2 percent to 5.5 billion HK dollars.
Concurrently, the value of imports of goods increased by 0.9 percent from a year earlier to 347.7 billion HK dollars in August, after a year-on-year decrease of 1.8 percent in July. A visible trade deficit of 36 billion HK dollars was recorded in August.
For the first eight months of 2012 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods dropped slightly by 0.2 percent over the same period in 2011. Within this total, the value of re-exports increased by 0.1 percent, whereas the value of domestic exports decreased by 15.6 percent.
Comparing the three-month period ending August with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports of goods decreased by 1.5 percent. Within this total, the value of re-exports decreased by 1.5 percent, whereas the value of domestic exports went up slightly by 0.5 percent. Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods increased by 1.5 percent.
A government spokesman noted that merchandise exports remained sluggish in August. The small year-on-year increase in value terms mainly reflected the moderate pick-up in exports to Chinese Mainland and Japan. However, widespread weaknesses still prevailed across most major markets.
The spokesman commented further that looking ahead, the persistently weak fundamentals of the advanced economies, including those relating to the debt crisis in the euro zone, will continue to cast a shadow over the global economic outlook. As such, Hong Kong's external trading environment will be likely to remain difficult in the near term. (One U.S. dollar is equivalent to 7.75 HK dollars)