Containers are pictured stacked up at the port in Hong Kong before being loaded onto cargo ships on Oct 5, 2019. (PHOTO / AFP)

HONG KONG – The value of Hong Kong's exports fell to HK$290.9 billion in January, down 36.7 percent, compared with the same month in 2022 amid a slackened external environment, the Census and Statistics Department announced on Monday.

The value of imports dropped 30.2 percent to HK$316.3 billion for the same period, the department said in a news release.

A visible trade deficit of HK$25.4 billion, or 8 percent of the value of imports, was recorded for the month.

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The performance could also be affected by the early arrival of the Lunar New Year this year.

Spokesman, HKSAR government

Comparing the three-month period ending January with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports decreased 13.8 percent while that of imports dropped 8.1 percent.

Total exports to Asia as a whole dropped 41.4 percent in January when compared with the same month last year. 

Decreases were also registered in exports to major destinations in other regions, in particular Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom for the same period of comparison.

“The performance could also be affected by the early arrival of the Lunar New Year this year. Exports to all major markets fell by varying degrees,” a government spokesman said in a statement.

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Looking ahead, while slower global economic growth will continue to pose severe challenges to Hong Kong's export performance in the near term, the expected faster growth of the Chinese mainland economy and the lifting of cross-boundary truck movement restrictions between Hong Kong and the mainland should alleviate part of the pressure, it added.