Surge in fuel re-exports fires year's total by 32pc

RE-EXPORTS forged ahead 32 per cent during the year to last October, spearheaded by a 62 per cent jump in the volume of re-exported fuels.

Figures for external trade issued yesterday by the Census and Statistics Department showed an increase of 23 per cent in total exports for the year to October, with domestic exports edging up just one per cent.

Imports grew by 29 per cent.

Over the first 10 months of last year, domestic exports rose one per cent compared with the same period of the previous year, and re-exports grew 30 per cent. Taken together, total exports were up 21 per cent while imports climbed 23 per cent.

Price changes over the period were unchanged on imports, while export prices rose one per cent.

Fuels and capital goods powered ahead, leading both re-exports and imports.

For the year to last October, imports of fuels increased by 76 per cent by volume, and capital goods rose by 44 per cent.

According to the department, foremost among these imports were construction machinery, transport equipment, other industrial - except electrical - machinery, and office machines.

For re-exports, capital goods increased 41 per cent over the year to October.

In domestic exports, commodities on the increase included metal ores and scrap, and electronic components - up 20 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively - and, to a lesser extent, radios.

Conversely, exports of domestic electrical appliances slumped 35 per cent compared with October 1991; the figure for travel goods and handbags shrank by 17 per cent and for footwear, by 15 per cent.

The import volume of foodstuffs - led by edible oils and lard, wheat and flour, fruit and beef - increased by 14 per cent. The import volume of consumer goods rose 30 per cent, with cars, shoes and clothes topping the list.

Imports of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 22 per cent, on the back of significant jumps in base metals, bar iron and steel; wool and animal hair; and woven fabrics.

Import volumes decreased for cotton yarn and thread, watch and clock movements, cases and parts.