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Strengthened Global Demand while Exports to Asia Grow Solidly

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 January 2018 increased by 18.1% over a year earlier to HK$350.0 billion, after a year-on-year increase of 6.0% in December 2017.

Comparing January 2018 with January 2017, total exports to Asia as a whole grew by 24.2%. In this region, increases were registered in the values of total exports to most major destinations, in particular the Taiwan (+40.0%), India (+39.4%), the mainland of China (the Mainland) (+29.0%), Vietnam (+23.0%) and Japan (+8.0%). Decreases were recorded in the values of total exports to Korea (-9.1%) and Thailand (-3.6%). Yet, apart from destinations in Asia, decreases were registered in the values of total exports to some major destinations in other regions, in particular the UK (-13.0%) and Germany (-2.8%). An increase was registered in the value of total exports to the US (+1.0%).

A Government spokesman noted that merchandise exports surged in January 2018 over a year earlier amid strengthening global demand. However, trade figures for January were distorted by the difference in timing of the Lunar New Year, which fell in mid-February this year but in late January last year. Looking ahead, the solid expansion of the global economy should continue to be supportive of Hong Kong's exports in the near term.

Corporate Failures in Major Export Markets

Market2017
Q4
Change in 2017 Q4 over same period last year (%) 201620152014
US5,727+1.124,02724,63626,849
UK4,126-22.014,81912,86114,155
Japan2,117+4.28,2148,5179,180
*Germany3,408+3.321,51823,12324,085

*Figures of December 2017 are not included for Germany.

Corporate failure cases in the US and Japan recorded an increase of 1.1% and 4.2% respectively in the fourth quarter of 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016. However, corporate failure cases of the UK decreased sharply by 22.0%. A year-on-year increase of 3.3% was recorded for Germany in October to November 2017.

Exports to Asia as a whole continued to grow solidly. Yet, the trading environment is still subject to various uncertainties, including continued US monetary policy normalisation amid a complicated global monetary environment, and the trade policies developments of the major economies. Exporters are advised to continue monitoring their risks prudently. HKECIC’s “Small Business Policy (SBP)” offers a permanent waiver of annual policy fee and premium discount of 20%, helping SMEs reduce operating costs and enhance their competitiveness in the industry. Furthermore, the “Fixed Amount Cover Endorsement” under the SBP provides more flexible options to SMEs, with application period until 31 August 2018. For more information, please refer to the HKECIC website www.hkecic.com.

Content provided by Picture: Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation
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