Merchandise imports rose 4.7% year- on-year to 6.96 billion patacas in April 2019, according to the latest data from the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC), led by sharp rises in imports of beauty, cosmetic and skin- care products (+46.2%), garments and footwear (+21.2%) and food and beverages (+14%).

Meanwhile, total merchandise export for the same month amounted to MOP952 million, down by 12.9% year-on-year, with the value of re-exports (accounting for MOP845 million) falling by 11.4%.

During the first four months of the year, the total value of merchandise imports dipped 1.1% to MOP28.66 billion.

Analysed by place of origin, merchandise imports from mainland China decreased 3.4% year-on-year to MOP9.69 billion, while that from the European Union (MOP7.71 billion), Portuguese-speaking countries (MOP298 million) and the countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (MOP3.51 billion) increased by 2.7%, 16.4% and 56.2% respectively.

Analysed by place of consignment, merchandise import from mainland China grew by 7.1% year-on-year to MOP4.35 billion, of which imports from the nine provinces of the Pan-Pearl River Delta region (MOP4.22 billion) expanded by 8.2%.

During the same four months, merchandise exports increased 12.9% to MOP4.59 billion, of which the value of re-exports (MOP4.15 billion) grew by 17.6% but that of domestic exports (MOP437 million) declined by 18.1%. Accordingly, the merchandise trade deficit widened to MOP24.07 billion.