Total exports to Asia slipped 4.5% YoY.

Total export value shrunk 7.3% YoY to $347.7b in September, compared to a 6.3% YoY fall in August, according to data from the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD). Over the same period, the total import value also decreased by 10.3% YoY to $379.3b after an 11.1% YoY decline the previous month.

A visible trade deficit of $31.6b, equivalent to 8.3% of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in September. This brought the year-to-date total to $336.8b for the first nine months of 2019.

The further weakening of exports in September reflects the slack in global demand and heightened trade tensions in that month, according to a government spokesperson.

In a quarterly basis, the total value of exports decreased 0.4% QoQ in Q3 compared to Q2, whilst imports declined 2.1% QoQ over the same period of comparison.

For the first nine months of 2019 as a whole, the value of total exports of goods dropped by 4.6% over the same period in 2018. Concurrently, the value of imports of goods decreased by 6.5%.

Compared with September 2018, total exports to Asia slipped 4.5% YoY. Exports to South Korea plummeted -25.9% YoY Exports to Thailand (-11.1%), Singapore (-10.9%), India (-10.8%), mainland China (-4.6%) and Japan (-4.1%) also recorded falls.

On the other hand, export values to to the Philippines and Taiwan jumped 21.1% YoY and 12.3% YoY, respectively.

Total exports to the USA, Germany, and the United Kingdom fell by 24.3% YoY, 12.8% YoY, and 6.8% YoY, respectively.

Over the same period of comparison, decreases were registered in the values of imports from South Korea (-26.3% YoY), Malaysia (-25.4% YoY), India (-24.3% YoY), Singapore (-17.7% YoY) and Thailand (-17.4% YoY). The value of imports from mainland China also shrunk by 9.2%.

Increases were recorded in the values of imports from Switzerland and Taiwan at 16% YoY and 3.1% YoY, respectively.

Exports of office machines and automatic data processing machines contracted $7.7b or 18.9% YoY) in September compared to September 2018. Telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment also recorded a$6.8b or 9.9% decline.) and “non-metallic mineral manufactures” (by $3.1 billion or -17.4%). However, export values of power generating machinery and equipment expanded by $2.7b or 66.3% YoY.

Looking ahead, the near-term outlook for Hong Kong’s merchandise exports remains challenging as trade tensions and the slowing global economy will likely persist, the spokesperson added.