HKTDC forecasts Hong Kong exports to grow 15% in 2021
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) Export Index has risen for the fifth consecutive quarter, from a record low of 16.0 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year to 48.7 in the second quarter of 2021. That is close to expansionary territory.
The sustained upturn indicates that local exporters have gradually regained confidence in the city's export outlook, the report says.
HKTDC Director of Research, Nicholas Kwan, said Hong Kong's exports had grown significantly in recent months. buoyed by the global revival in trade and the resumption of production activities.
Total exports in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 33.2% on-year to HK$1,107.8 billion, with growth of 24.4% registered in April.
"Led by Mainland China and the United States, the global economy has rebounded steadily, which will continue to bolster Hong Kong's export performance," Kwan said.
Meanwhile, the HKTDC's Export Index survey showed that local exporters continue to have concerns. These include the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic (41.5%), softening global demand (16.7%), prolonged trade tensions between the China mainland and the United States (13.0%) and continuing pandemic-mandated border closures (11.6%).
"The global economic recovery is likely to be highly uneven, said Kwan.
"After taking into account a basket of factors, we decided to revise Hong Kong's export forecast in 2021 upward from 5% to 15%, albeit from a low base. This represents the biggest rebound since the city's recovery from the global financial crisis in 2010."
Kwan said that while concerns remain, the impact of the pandemic has been gradually easing over the past few months. The percentage of respondents reporting that they had been negatively affected by pandemic-related issues fell from 78.2% in the first quarter of 2021 to 56.9% in the second quarter.
A reduction in order size (66.4%), increased transportation costs (46.4%) and logistics or distribution disruptions (42.6%) were cited as the three most common problems.