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Hong Kong exports

Christmas sales in Hong Kong’s major overseas markets were mixed, according to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s year-end review and retail outlook for 2008 (www.tdctrade.com/econforum/) based on feedback from TDC's network of offices located in major markets and business centres around the world. Market-wise, modest holiday sales increases were recorded for the US, France, Italy and the UK. In Asia, retail performance In China was encouraging, while Japan showed tepid year-end sales.

In terms of product, consumer electronics and video games were big hits. High-end jewellery and timepieces were other standouts. Demand for seasonal clothes has also been lifted by a cold snap in the US and Europe.

In 2008, consumption in the US will slacken further. Likewise, spending in the EU and, more notably, Japan will moderate, while sturdy expansion should take hold on the Mainland.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong port handled 1,970,000 TEUs in November 2007, for a total of 21.8mn TEUs from Jan-Nov 2007, an increase of 1.6% over the same period last year. Of these, 15.8mn TEUs were handled at the Kwai Chung and Tsing Yi container terminals, 7.7% higher than in Jan-Nov 2006. Meanwhile, across the border, the Shenzhen ports handled a total of 19.2mn TEUs from Jan-Nov 2007, at a 13.8% increase over the same period in 2006. In Novmber 2007, 1,815,000 TEUs passed through Shenzhen ports, 10.5% more than in Nov 2006.