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Stable Export Growth amid External Environment Continues to Fluctuate

According to the external merchandise trade statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong SAR Government, the value of total exports of goods in April 2018 increased by 8.1% over a year earlier to HK$330.2 billion, after a year-on-year increase of 8.0% in March 2018.

Comparing April 2018 with April 2017, total exports to Asia as a whole grew by 7.2%. In this region, increases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular Taiwan (+27.8%), Singapore (+15.0%), the mainland of China (the Mainland) (+12.9%), Thailand (+12.6%) and Malaysia (+10.4%). Decreases were recorded in the values of total exports to India (-49.5%) and Korea (-2.0%). Apart from destinations in Asia, increases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the US (+11.7%), Germany (+8.0%) and the UK (+7.0%).

A Government spokesman noted that merchandise exports sustained notable year-on-year growth in April, thanks to robust global demand. Exports to most major markets posted visible growth from a year earlier. Looking ahead, the prevailing momentum of the global economy is likely to continue and should be conducive to Hong Kong's export performance in the near term.

Corporate Failures in Major Export Markets

Market2018
Q1
Change in 2018 Q1 over
same period last year (%)
201720162015
US5,669-0.823,09824,02724,636
UK3,992+13.415,66414,81912,861
Japan1,971-4.48,3768,2148,517
*Germany3,232-0.420,09321,51823,123

*Figures of March 2018 are not included for Germany.

Corporate failure cases in the US and Japan recorded a decrease of 0.8% and 4.4% respectively in the first quarter of 2018 when compared to the same period in 2017. However, corporate failure cases of the UK increased by 13.4%. A year-on-year decrease of 0.4% was recorded for Germany in January to February 2018.

HKECIC’s Advice

The US has announced the imposition of an additional duty of 25% on US$50 billion worth of Chinese goods [1]. It will move forward to implement the tariff on 818 items (valued at US$34 billion) starting from 6 July 2018.

Policyholders are advised to:

  • Maintain close contact with the buyers if contracts have been signed and make sure whether the products are affected;

  • Clarify the incoterms adopted in connection with the delivery of goods, as well as the obligation of buyers and sellers so as to ensure the obligation for the payment of tariffs once the products are included in the list; and

  • Incorporate terms in the contracts stating the obligation of both parties to safeguard their interest if contracts have not been signed.

[1] For details of the tariffs, please refer to this webpage.

Content provided by Picture: Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation
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