Exports fall 22pc on trade woes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 December, 1998, 12:00am

Hong Kong's trade position received another hefty jolt in October with domestic exports diving 22 per cent in value on further shrinkage in regional markets and a continued fall in demand in Europe and the United States.

Domestic exports fell to $118.7 billion, while re-exports fell 16.7 per cent to $102.4 billion from a year earlier.

Significantly, the biggest decline came in trade with the mainland, where re-exports were down 22.3 per cent year on year for the month, while exports to Taiwan fell 21.7 per cent.

Japanese trade also reflected the country's continued economic problems, falling 21.7 per cent.

Textiles and footwear were again the worst hit sectors, down 22.6 per cent and 26.1 per cent, respectively.

A government spokesman said apart from further decreases in demand from the SAR's biggest trading partners, the latest trade figures again suffered from a high base of comparison with last year.

The value of re-exports has fallen 6.1 per cent since the start of the year to $969 billion.

Domestic exports have fallen further, down 9.5 per cent since January to $158 billion, compared with the same period in 1997.

Imports also continued their downward trend, falling 22.4 per cent to $118.7 billion, further ensuring that Hong Kong would experience its first trade surplus in a decade.