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Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) Hong Kong

Volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade in February 2015 [16 Apr 2015]

Media release.
Published: 17-Apr-2015 11:39 am
Publisher: Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) Hong Kong

Volume and price statistics of external merchandise trade in February 2015
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     Further to the external merchandise trade statistics in value terms for February 2015 released earlier on, the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) released today (April 16) 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 2015 with the same period in 2014, the volume of Hong Kong's re-exports of goods increased by 3.3%, whereas that of domestic exports decreased by 0.5%. Taken together, the volume of total exports of goods increased by 3.3%. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods increased by 3.8%.

     In February 2015, the volume of Hong Kong's re-exports of goods increased by 6.8% over February 2014, whereas that of domestic exports decreased by 9.4%. Taken together, the volume of total exports of goods increased by 6.6%. On the other hand, the volume of imports of goods decreased by 1.1%.

     Comparing the three-month period ending February 2015 with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the volume of total exports of goods decreased by 1.9%. Within this total, the volume of re-exports decreased by 2.0%, while that of domestic exports decreased by 0.9%. Concurrently, the volume of imports of goods decreased by 2.3%.

     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 2015 over the same period in 2014, the prices of re-exports of goods increased by 1.8%, whereas those of domestic exports decreased by 1.7%. Taken together, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 1.8%. Concurrently, the prices of imports of goods increased by 0.6%.

     Comparing February 2015 with February 2014, the prices of re-exports of goods increased by 1.3%, whereas those of domestic exports decreased by 1.9%. Taken together, the prices of total exports of goods increased by 1.2%. Concurrently, the prices of imports of goods increased by 0.8%.

     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 2014, the index increased by 0.4% and 1.2% in February 2015 and in the first two months of 2015 respectively.

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

     Comparing February 2015 with February 2014, the total export volume to the USA, Germany, India and Japan grew substantially, by 55.9%, 36.6%, 35.0% and 31.9% respectively. On the other hand, a double-digit decrease of 11.2% was recorded for the total export volume to the mainland of China (the Mainland).

     Over the same period of comparison, the total export prices to the Mainland and Germany increased by 1.8% and 0.8% respectively. On the other hand, the total export prices to the USA, Japan and India decreased by 0.2%, 3.1% and 6.5% respectively.

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

     Comparing February 2015 with February 2014, a double-digit decrease of 18.3% was recorded for the import volume from Taiwan. Concurrently, the import volume from Singapore, Japan and the USA decreased by 9.2%, 8.3% and 1.0% respectively. On the other hand, the import volume from the Mainland increased by 10.5%.

     Over the same period of comparison, the import prices from Taiwan and the Mainland increased by 4.0% and 2.2% respectively. On the other hand, the import prices from the USA, Singapore and Japan decreased by 0.9%, 1.1% and 5.6% respectively.

Further information

     C&SD has announced the use of the chain linking approach in the compilation of trade index numbers on March 12, 2015. The above volume statistics are based on the new series of trade index numbers compiled using the new methodology. Details of the new compilation methodology have been published in a feature article in the March 2015 issue of "Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics".

     Details of the above statistics can be found in the February 2015 issue of "Hong Kong Merchandise Trade Index Numbers". Users can download the publication free of charge at the website of the C&SD (www.censtatd.gov.hk).

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

Ends/Thursday, April 16, 2015

Issued at HKT 16:31

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