Total merchandise imports rose 7.6 percent year-on-year in September 2018 to reach MOP7.6 billion, according to the latest data from the Statistics and Census Service, while merchandise exports fell 8.5 percent to MOP935 million during the same period. The value of domestic exports decreased by two-thirds to MOP120 million.
September rounds out the third quarter of the year, during which total merchandise imports (MOP22.67 billion) rose 17.1 percent year-on-year and total merchandise exports (MOP2.87 billion) slipped 2.3 percent, resulting in a trade deficit of MOP19.8 billion.
For the first three quarters of the year, exports increased by 5.9 percent year-on-year to MOP9.07 billion, with domestic exports (MOP1.16 billion) declining by 13.5 percent. Meanwhile, imports increased 21.6 percent year-on-year to reach MOP65.94 billion. Accordingly, the trade deficit widened to MOP56.87 billion during the first nine months of 2018.
Analyzed by place of origin, merchandise imports from mainland China (MOP22.51 billion) and the European Union (MOP16.52 billion) increased 26.1 percent and 18 percent year-on-year respectively in the first nine months of 2018. Meanwhile, imports from Portuguese-speaking countries (MOP582 million) and countries within the Belt and Road Initiative framework (MOP5.81 billion) rose by 22 percent and 18 percent year-on-year, respectively.
Analyzed by destination, merchandise exports to the nine provinces of the Pan-Pearl River Delta area (MOP1.51 billion) increased 5.1 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2018, but exports to Shanghai (MOP21 million) notably dropped by 87.4 percent, resulting in a 5.1 percent decrease in exports to mainland China (MOP1.54 billion).
Exports to Hong Kong (MOP5.63 billion) and the EU (MOP148 million) rose by 11.9 percent and 3.3 percent respectively, whereas exports to the U.S. (MOP97 million) declined by 27.9 percent. Exports to Portuguese-speaking countries (MOP24 million) surged by 3,524.7 percent year-on-year within the same period.