Hong Kong's Census and Statistics Department (CSD) released the external merchandise trade statistics Monday, according to which the value of total exports of goods rose by 3.6 percent in 2013 over 2012, and the value of imports of goods increased by 3.8 percent.
In a breakdown, the value of re-exports increased by 3.8 percent, whereas the value of domestic exports decreased by 7.6 percent. A visible trade deficit of 501 billion HK dollars (64.56 billion U.S. dollars), equivalent to 12.3 percent of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in 2013.
In December alone, the value of total exports of goods remained virtually unchanged from a year earlier at 310.9 billion HK dollars, after a year-on-year increase of 5.8 percent in November. Of the total, re-exports accounted for 306.3 billion HK dollars, up by 0.1 percent, whereas domestic exports decreased by 7.9 percent to 4.6 billion HK dollars.
Meanwhile, the value of imports of goods increased by 1.8 percent over a year earlier to 365.2 billion HK dollars, after a year-on-year increase of 5.2 percent in November. A visible trade deficit of 54.4 billion, equivalent to 14.9 percent of the value of imports of goods, was recorded in the month.
Last year, year-on-year increase was seen in the value of exports to some major destinations, with that to Vietnam rising 15. 5 percent, that to Korea, up 9.0 percent, that to India, up 7.9 percent, and that to the Chinese mainland, up 4.9 percent.
However, the value of exports to Japan decreased by 6.1 percent, that to Germany fell 5.1 percent, and that to Taiwan dropped 4.3 percent.
Compared to 2012, the value of imports from the United States went up by 7.4 percent last year, that from China's Taiwan rose 6. 9 percent, that from India increased 6.7 percent, that from Thailand expanded by 6.4 percent, and that from the Chinese mainland inched up by 5.5 percent.
On the other hand, the value of imports from Japan reduced by 8. 1 percent, and that from Switzerland contracted by 1.7 percent.
A spokesman for the Hong Kong government said that the trading environment is still facing various uncertainties, particularly the future path of the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy and its possible impacts on the emerging market economies, in addition to the uneven recovery of the eurozone economy. He added the government will monitor the situation closely.