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Market Overview – Hong Kong

Note: This report includes forecasting data that is based on baseline historical data.

Executive summary

Hong Kong has a population of 7.4 million and is primarily a trading center with almost no natural resources.

Hong Kong's real GDP was Can$373 billion in 2019, falling by −1.2%, down from 2.9% growth in 2018. GDP growth is expected to fall by −4.8% in 2020 and forecast to grow by 3.9% in 2021, contingent on the post-pandemic global economic recovery.

Hong Kong is the ninth largest importer of agri-food and seafood products in the world. Hong Kong recorded imports of Can$37.0 billion in 2019, and Canada's share was 1.8% or Can$668.1 million.

Hong Kong is a net importer of agri-food and seafood products. In 2019, Hong Kong's agri-food and seafood trade deficit was Can$22.1 billion. Hong Kong's agri-food and seafood imports increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.7% from 2015 to 2019.

The top five imports to Hong Kong from 2015 to 2019 were powdered milk and cream, frozen beef, wine, edible beef offal, and food preparations.

In 2019, Canada had an agri-food and seafood trade surplus of Can$576.4 million with Hong Kong. Hong Kong's agri-food and seafood imports from Canada have fallen by a CAGR of −7.1% from 2015 to 2019. Top imports from Canada were frozen beef, edible offal, and food preparations.

Country profile

Hong Kong has a population of 7.4 million and is primarily a trading center with almost no natural resources, making it dependent on imported raw materials, food and fuel. Hong Kong's economy is largely based on the service sector, specifically, wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants and transportation. This is partly driven by Hong Kong's proximity to the Guangdong region, which is China's largest region in terms of total consumer spending due to its large population and strong economy.

Future economic growth in Hong Kong is expected to depend on the global trade environment, in particular, the effects of the trade war between China and the US, the political stability of Hong Kong itself, and the novel coronavirus pandemic. Hong Kong's real GDP was Can$373 billion in 2019, falling by −1.2%, down from 2.9% growth in 2018. GDP growth is expected to fall by −4.8% in 2020 and forecast to grow by 3.9% in 2021, contingent on the post-pandemic global economic recovery.

The economic slowdown in China and the world is causing a change in Hong Kong consumers' buying habits, with emphasis more on the value and functionality of products over quality and trends in making food and beverage purchase decisions.

Trade

Hong Kong is the ninth largest importer of agri-food and seafood products in the world and a net importer of agri-food and seafood products. In 2019, Hong Kong recorded imports of Can$37.0 billion, with Canada's share at 1.8% or Can$668.1 million. Hong Kong's agri-food and seafood imports increased at a CAGR of 1.7% from 2015 to 2019. Hong Kong's agri-food and seafood trade deficit was Can$22.1 billion in 2019.

Hong Kong's top five agri-food and seafood imports in 2019 were powdered milk and cream, frozen beef, wine, edible offal, and food preparations. Key supplying countries were China, the United States (U.S.), the European Union (EU), Brazil, and Australia.

In 2019, Canada had an agri-food and seafood trade surplus of Can$576.4 million with Hong Kong. Hong Kong's agri-food and seafood imports from Canada have fallen by a CAGR of −7.1% from 2015 to 2019. Top imports from Canada were frozen beef, edible offal, and food preparations. Canada ranked third for frozen beef, sixth for edible offal, and ninth for food preparations import supply into Hong Kong among global trade partners, supplying Hong Kong with Can$136.7 million worth of these three commodities.

Hong Kong's top agri-food and seafood imports from the world, 2019
Commodity Import value Can$ millions Top suppliers and market share Canada's share %
1 2 3
Powdered milk and cream 1,915.7 Netherlands: 37.8% New Zealand: 24.6% Australia: 11.4% 0.0
Frozen beef 1,858.0 Brazil: 47.2% United States: 37.7% Canada: 4.3%
Wine 1,402.5 France: 61.4% Australia: 11.1% United Kingdom: 9.8% 0.1
Frozen edible beef offal 1,341.8 Brazil: 53.8% United States: 14.2% Argentina 9.9% 1.8
Food preparations 1,326.0 United States: 17.6% China: 15.8% Australia: 11.5% 2.4
Fresh cherries 1,313.1 Chile: 91.3% United States: 4.9% Australia: 1.5% 1.1
Poultry 1,219.0 United States: 35.9% Brazil: 32.6% China: 13.6% 0.4
Tobacco cigarettes 1,005.0 China: 31.5% Indonesia: 29.5% Japan: 12.5% 0.0
Live horses 892.3 Australia: 88.7% United Kingdom: 5.5% New Zealand: 4.7% 0.0
Bottled water 814.4 China: 99.9% Japan: 0.0% South Korea: 0.0 0.0
Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

Hong Kong's processed food imports were valued at Can$25.9 billion in 2019 and increased by a CAGR of 1.9% from 2015 to 2019. The fastest growing imports in the last five years food preparations, oranges, beef offal, and frozen beef.

Hong Kong's top ten processed food and beverage imports from the world in Can$ millions
Products 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
Total 23,977.2 26,811.2 27,237.7 28,274.5 25,878.3 1.9
Powdered milk and cream 1,676.0 1,826.5 1,559.3 1,853.4 1,915.7 3.4
Frozen beef 1,471.8 1,844.3 2,028.6 2,291.8 1,858.0 6.0
Wine 1,694.4 1,968.3 1,909.5 1,898.9 1,402.5 −4.6
Frozen edible beef offal 1,030.9 1,045.5 1,271.8 1,467.2 1,341.8 6.8
food preparations 798.4 1,160.2 1,171.9 1,480.9 1,326.0 13.5
Poultry 1,322.9 1,437.0 1,484.6 1,383.9 1,219.0 −2.0
Bottled water 692.2 767.7 798.2 790.2 814.4 4.2
Frozen edible swine offal 955.4 1,113.6 1,246.2 995.1 719.7 −6.8
frozen pork 722.5 891.8 1,078.9 713.5 594.4 −4.8
fresh or dried oranges 300.0 358.0 434.5 476.6 457.9 11.2

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

1. Frozen beef (HS 020230)

Canada was Hong Kong's third largest frozen beef supplier with imports valued at Can$80.5 million in 2019. Between 2015 and 2019, imports from Canada have increased fastest by a CAGR of 35.2% and more than doubled from 2015 levels. Imports from Hong Kong's primary sources, Brazil and the U.S., have increased slightly, while imports from Mexico, China, Ireland, and Japan have surged.

Hong Kong's top ten suppliers of frozen beef, Can$ million
Country 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
World 1,471.8 1,844.3 2,028.6 2,291.8 1,858.0 6.0
Brazil 690.8 965.6 1060.3 1237.9 877.2 6.2
United States 618.8 598.2 634.4 789.5 701.2 3.2
Canada 24.1 100.3 81.9 80.1 80.5 35.2
Mexico 14.1 15.6 28.1 43.8 38.5 28.6
China 11.6 16.1 7.5 0.8 27.8 24.5
New Zealand 17.5 20.5 25.8 19.5 17.7 0.4
United Kingdom 8.9 7.2 19.5 17.9 17.1 17.5
Japan 7.9 13.9 19.0 14.5 16.8 20.7
Australia 26.1 7.6 18.7 22.9 16.0 −11.6
Ireland 6.8 10.5 36.8 16.3 14.6 20.9

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

2. Edible offal (HS020629)

Canada was Hong Kong's sixth largest edible beef offal supplier with imports valued at Can$23.9 million in 2019. Between 2015 and 2019, imports from Canada have increased by a CAGR of 4.6%. Imports from Hong Kong's primary sources, Brazil and the U.S., have increased slightly, while imports from the UK, Ireland, and Germany have surged.

Hong Kong's top ten suppliers of edible offal, Can$ million
Country 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
World 1,030.9 1,045.5 1,271.8 1,467.2 1,341.8 6.8
Brazil 562.1 556.3 643.0 780.6 721.5 6.4
United States 138.5 142.1 187.2 221.8 190.4 8.3
Argentina 107.0 92.7 107.3 125.4 133.2 5.6
Australia 92.4 83.2 96.9 105.2 91.8 −0.2
Uruguay 33.1 37.0 36.3 43.4 41.0 5.5
Canada 20.0 19.0 24.4 24.8 23.9 4.6
Ireland 8.1 27.9 29.9 23.3 21.9 28.2
Germany 8.0 15.2 23.2 32.7 19.0 24.0
United Kingdom 2.5 9.2 20.7 20.7 17.5 62.9
New Zealand 24.4 13.4 16.7 21.0 13.4 −13.9

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

3. Food preparations (HS 210690)

Canada was Hong Kong's ninth largest food preparations supplier with imports valued at Can$32.3 million in 2019. Between 2015 and 2019, imports from Canada have increased by a CAGR of 13.7%. Imports from all of Hong Kong's sources have also increased, with imports from Germany growing the fastest.

Hong Kong's top ten suppliers of food preparations, Can$ million
Country 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
World 798.4 1,160.2 1,171.9 1,480.9 1,326.0 13.5
United States 148.7 258.7 275.1 315.4 232.7 11.9
China 140.6 154.5 161.4 227.5 208.9 10.4
Australia 75.4 217.7 181.1 197.5 152.4 19.2
Germany 19.0 48.5 50.3 105.5 120.1 58.5
Japan 80.6 107.5 100.0 141.0 119.5 10.3
Singapore 12.0 27.4 35.3 73.5 112.0 74.9
Taiwan 41.8 45.6 50.1 74.0 68.9 13.3
Netherlands 79.1 70.7 66.6 39.6 38.7 −16.4
Canada 19.3 14.6 25.1 26.7 32.3 13.7
Korea 38.1 62.5 50.7 47.9 31.3 −4.7

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be found on the International agri-food market intelligence page, arranged by region.

For additional information on trade shows in Hong Kong, please contact:

Ben Berry, Deputy Director
Trade Show Strategy and Delivery
Agriculture and agri-food Canada
ben.berry@canada.ca

Resources

Market Overview – Hong Kong
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Kris Clipsham, Market Analyst

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2020).

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