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Bottomless Import Hail Mary Black Hole Uncovered: It Is Hong Kong

Tyler Durden's picture


The miracle that is a global economy in which everyone is looking for export growth has been discussed here at length along with the simple math that makes it nonsense. Today's 'wonderfully' positive improvement in the trade deficit data for the US - which will be extrapolated into a spike in GDP growth and why the S&P should be at 1500 by month's end - does seem a little odd given all the uncertainty. Sure enough, thanks to Sean Corrigan of Diapason Securities, we have our answer. A massive spike in Exports to - drum roll please - Hong Kong!!A 76% rise in exports to this once glorious colony. The US trade deficit fell by $1.8bn thanks to a $2.5bn rise in exports (of which $2.03bn was to Hong Kong). Has Hong Kong become the channel-stuffing center of the world? It appears so since China's exports to Hong Kong have remained extremely high.

US exports to Hong Kong jumped 76% this month, or by just over $2bn!!

While China's exports to Hong Kong continue to stay very high (NOTE - not imports - exports!!)

So is Hong Kong now the global dumping ground for any and every country's dreams of export growth? It sure seems so for now!!

Charts: Bloomberg


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Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:20 | 1865688 slaughterer
slaughterer's picture

Ever heard of the hole to China?    Now its the hole to Hong Kong. 

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:25 | 1865724 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

They discovered a buried stargate and have commence infinite trade with the goa'uld? Bullish

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:44 | 1865809 Ethics Gradient
Ethics Gradient's picture

Another option:

You couldn't import $2bn worth of cars to Hong Kong - they just wouldn't fit. You need something small and valuable. Something that has high value per cubic inch. Truffles, maybe? Swiss, they would be from Switzerland. Oh hang on... no. I thought I had it there for a moment, but it's gone....

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:45 | 1865815 Ethics Gradient
Ethics Gradient's picture

Got it!

Gold, bitchez!

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:55 | 1865865 macfly
macfly's picture

I suspect you're correct on this one - gold, and iPhones of course.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:20 | 1865964 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Maybe Boeing sold Hong Kong Airways three new shiny 787s.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 17:28 | 1867746 DarkestPhoenix
Fri, 03/02/2012 - 04:16 | 2216132 o2sd
o2sd's picture

There are 7 million people in Hong Kong, and of those 14 million want an iPhone.

Hmmm ... iPhone made by Taiwanese company in the Peoples Republic of China and sold to Hong Kong (SAR PRC).

Apple makes about 350 per iPhone,  into 2 billion goes 5.7 million. Sounds about the right number.


Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:52 | 1865844 Clorox Cowboy
Clorox Cowboy's picture

Well played.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:36 | 1866047 Smiddywesson
Smiddywesson's picture

Oh hang on... no. I thought I had it there for a moment, but it's gone....

Rick Perry moment?  Hee hee

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:36 | 1865772 CPL
CPL's picture

India is in the same situation.  Where do people think that extra capacity for storage for the city-state of Hong Kong.


We'll be seeing India catching up very quickly.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:40 | 1865793 Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

Yeah, it's called the China Syndrome. However, it requires a nuclear fission accident to make it happen. I guess the US economy really is in meltdown.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:22 | 1865974 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture

The senate has made our trade agreemant legal.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:24 | 1865981 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture

T[r]a[d]e kwon do

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:20 | 1865691 John Ford Kennedy
John Ford Kennedy's picture

hello. i am from hongkong. hk has stuffed everything in and out both from uncle sam and communists. no worry.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:30 | 1865747 Divided States ...
Divided States of America's picture

Hong Kong must be loading up on jetfighters and aircraft carriers from the US since the ones in China dont work properly.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:33 | 1865761 i-dog
i-dog's picture

God knows where they're going to put them. The place is rather full already!

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:54 | 1865859 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Pretty sure that is a bare bones aircraft carrier with no planes and no cable.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:49 | 1866105 shutdown
shutdown's picture

China's fighter jets look really cool, though. 

Plus, who cares if the Chinese jet fighters work or not. These days jet fighters are only used to provide air support to Radical Muslim Holy Warriors. I doubt if China is planning to attack any Islamic nations.

And that is a very, very smart cost-saving move. 

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:22 | 1865695 qussl3
qussl3's picture

It's the iphones.

Ackman is so fucked.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:21 | 1865703 Jason T
Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:29 | 1865746 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

I call Phooey on Hong Kong

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:21 | 1865704 WineSorbet
WineSorbet's picture

This is great news and it seems Europe was fixed overnight.  BTFD!  Seriously, I don't know how much longer I can pay attention before just wanting to pack it in and live in a jungle in South America.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:22 | 1865708 sabra1
sabra1's picture

channel stuffing at today's prices, brings many fortunes when hyper-inflation hits!

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:37 | 1865783 CPL
CPL's picture

Very true, that is if someone is left to take the order.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:24 | 1865718 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

I'm sure they have big warehouses, full of products that nobody sells.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:30 | 1865748 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

That explains RE prices.

Fri, 03/02/2012 - 04:18 | 2216134 o2sd
o2sd's picture

Having lived in Hong Kong, I am sure you are wrong.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:25 | 1865720 SpeakerFTD
SpeakerFTD's picture

NBA jerseys

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:27 | 1865735 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Well done Hong Kong! This should take some of the pressure off the Bahamas to support the world's economies.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:28 | 1865740 chinaboy
chinaboy's picture

Like statistics on GDP, initial claims, the bilateral trade is also a mathematical nightmare. Chinese government has been disputing American numbers for decades. So exporting to Hongkong may or may not mean it literally.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:36 | 1865771 jonan
jonan's picture

what exactly is "channel stuffing"?

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:49 | 1865829 mess nonster
mess nonster's picture

Channel stuffing (This is a wikipedia article) is the business practice where a company, or a sales force within a company, inflates its sales figures by forcing more products through a distribution channel than the channel is capable of selling to the world at large. Also known as "trade loading", this can be the result of a company attempting to inflate its sales figures. Alternatively, it can be a consequence of a poorly managed sales force attempting to meet short term objectives and quotas in a way that is detrimental to the company in the long term. Channel stuffing has a number of long-term consequences for the company. Firstly, distributors will often return any unsold goods to the company, incurring a carrying cost and also developing a backlog of product inventory. Wildly fluctuating demand, combined with this excess inventory, leads to costly overtimes and factory shutdowns. Even mild channel stuffing can spiral out of control as sales works to make up for prior over-selling. Discounts used to drive trade loading can greatly affect profits, and even help establish gray market channels as salesmen no longer adequately qualify their prospects. Occasionally, distribution channels such as large retailers have been known to identify the practice of channel stuffing in their suppliers, and use the phenomenon to their advantage. This is done by holding back on orders until the end of the suppliers' quota period. The supplier's sales force then panics, and sells a large amount of the product under more favorable terms than they would under ordinary circumstances. At the beginning of the next period, no new orders are placed, and, barring any action, the cycle is then repeated. This has an impact on customers, with gluts and shortages as buyers turn to competing products. Corporations have been known to engage in channel stuffing and hide such activities from their investors. In the United States, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has in some cases litigated against such corporations.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:24 | 1865982 robobbob
robobbob's picture

see GM, (government motors)

also see Zero Hedge archives

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 14:09 | 1866747 jonan
jonan's picture

thanks guys!

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:36 | 1865776 vote_libertaria...
vote_libertarian_party's picture

According to the economic summary on Bloombergs website the unexpected drop was because of gold exports.


So China is upping US gold purchases?

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:58 | 1866161 Smiddywesson
Smiddywesson's picture

There was an article a few days ago which stated their July-Sept purchases exceeded 2010 purchases.  I've since seen different figures, but it's clear they are at a late stage level in their purchasing strategy.  All that's left after this level is pannicked buying.

If you look at the figures, Western central banks are around 70% backed by gold.  They are replacing foreign currencies as an asset on their balance sheets.  China is racing to catch up.  Although the official figure that they are backed only 1.2% by gold is an obvious fabrication, they are still behind and struggling to stack gold before the whole economic system seizes up.  Then we go to a gold referrenced system, they ramp the price of gold, and anybody without gold takes a big haircut.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:37 | 1865784 beastie
beastie's picture

Can we get a few details on what was imported to HK specifically? and by country?

Are we talking about paper or physical products?Is it Gold bought in NY to make their surplus go away?

PS Can we get some pics of girls in bikinis as this place is getting way too serious.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:09 | 1865937 eaglefalcon
eaglefalcon's picture

Has to be physical because paper doesn't go through the customer and is therefore not counted as import/export

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:41 | 1865799 youngman
youngman's picture

Yes I am thinking the same it gold imports from the USA....hmmmm..isn´t that where the new exchange is?

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:47 | 1865818 docmac324
docmac324's picture

Hon Kong love you long time.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:53 | 1865828 SDRII
SDRII's picture

Per, Exports led by industrial supplies and materials ($1.4 bln, of which the entire gain came from nonmonetary gold) and consumer goods ($0.8 bln). Channel stuffing for sure

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:49 | 1865831 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

WB7 is stocking up on billion$ in images?

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:52 | 1865846 walküre
walküre's picture

Hong Kong is a gateway to Southern China. 2 billion may be an anomaly. Let's see if the trend lasts and find out what US made products exactly are being "demanded" from there. Medical equipment is pretty pricey for example.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:53 | 1865850 Trying to Understand
Trying to Understand's picture

So... what would our trade deficit be if we removed Hong Kong from the equasion?  Now thank obummer, ben, timmy and CONGRESS for allowing the books to be cooked....

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:54 | 1865857 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

You can't read anything into China exports to Hong Kong. Most of that ends up in China. They export to Hong Kong to take advantage of a government policy referred to as "turnaround". The mfg gets an export credit to ship to Hong Kong then they re-import to China and sell domestically, been going on for years. did it myself for several years. 

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:56 | 1865870 boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

The trade deficit took a bump down from $45.6 billion last report to $43.1, the report says:  "The improvement in the trade gap was led by the nonpetroleum goods gap which shrank to $31.5 billion from $33.9 billion in August. Exports of industrial supplies jumped $1.4 billion with $1.6 billion coming from nonmonetary gold. This was likely flight to safety with demand for gold up in the month."

So we sold some gold and suddenly the economy is on the upswing?  $43.1 billion annualized is still well over half a trillion per year leaving the USA forever.  And the sale of a little gold is not the kind of "export" that creates domestic employment, or revenues to stabilize federal fiscal chaos, and in fact we might look back on the export of any gold at any price to be aking to Britain selling a large share of their gold when it was 250-300 per ounce, insane. 

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:59 | 1865880 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

The Apple Store opened last month and has been a mob scene ever since. Most of China's high end consumer goods purchasing occurs outside of China.

I am sure they are buying ten at a time for "gifts."

There is your answer.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:00 | 1865889 jdelano
jdelano's picture

Wait--what?  WTF?  This makes no sense--it can't be real.  This has got to be pure fiction.



I'd like to submit my resume for your consideration.  In all earnestness, I am thoroughly exhausted by the effort to resist and expose your machinations--I'm willing to concede at this point that it is a futile fight and acknowledge that it is rapidly eroding my sanity.  As I simultaneously find it impossible to return to the cozy in utero state of neither knowing or caring about your ministrations behind the curtain of this reality, I've resigned myself to the fact that I have no better option:  "If you can't beat em', join em.'"  Right?  I am ready to commit wholeheartedly to the implementation of your vision and to lend all of my talents to the cultivation of the new world regime.  I have several skills and attributes that I believe would be of great value to the cause--for starters, I have knowledge of and direct experience with a broad range of financial instruments, I know my way around a computer (familiar with several programming languages) and I speak fluent Italian.  In addition, I am highly athletic, socially gracious, and pretty good with a handgun.  Given that (mentally and philosophically at least) I have existed on the outer fringes of society for much of my life and view myself as idealogically disenfranchised, I believe my psychological profile is ripe for "reeducation" and that I could easily be molded into a passing-fair assassin or servile politician.  My dossier is attached, please review at your convenience.

Thanks in advance for your time, 

J.M. Delano      

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:19 | 1865960 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Good luck. My offer was ignored. I asked for 1000 oz of gold, book deal and teleworking privalages. I did say I was willing to negotiate. Maybe they've already reviewed my book.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:20 | 1865967 catch edge ghost
catch edge ghost's picture

Sounds like the internship is going well.  I think you'll get it.  You just have to believe!


Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:35 | 1866042 boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

Take the Blue Pill J.M.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 12:09 | 1866227 viahj
viahj's picture

so sorry, but once you take the Red Pill, taking the Blue Pill has no effect.  it cannot be undone.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 14:09 | 1866739 boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

Cypher turned spy/traitor on a promise of reinsertion into the matrix.  Technically I suppose you are right though, Cypher would still know he was inside the matrix, but it makes the point that most people would prefer a happy illusion than sucky reality eating goop and loving their freedom to die on some rust bucket ship. 

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:25 | 1865987 AbelCatalyst
AbelCatalyst's picture

Hyperinflation applies to oil too! How will they ship all those goods?

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:28 | 1866005 billsykes
billsykes's picture

Surprised that this took so long to catch- along these lines, why is Switzerland the leading importer of  used USA secondhand clothing according US customs export data?



Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:33 | 1866036 Smiddywesson
Smiddywesson's picture

I don't usually post articles, but I have had this problem with the "China as a growth engine" story for a long, long time.  Charles Hugh Smith wrote a great article on the topic on the FinancialSense site:

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:49 | 1866100 billsykes
billsykes's picture

Ok, here is the lowdown on why there are exports and imports- back in 08 when the MOC (ministry of commerce) stopped all currency from leaving the country. What companies working in china would do is find a broker in HK or china to set up a "purchase" of equipment, say an industrial compressor the compressor is backordered but to "secure" the price you have to "buy" it now, so the yuan goes thru the conversion to dollars to get out of the country. broker takes 10% and the product never comes to china and the HK yuan gets converted to dollars to Buy the compressor, but is really transfered into the western company's western account. 



Thu, 11/10/2011 - 11:56 | 1866127 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Isn't hong kong underwater right now. Well everytihng but the central business district. Oh wait that was 2008, 2011 is taiwan.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 12:06 | 1866207 Smiddywesson
Smiddywesson's picture

Not funny.  Al Gore told me all that bad carbon we produce is stacked a mile high over Taiwan, we just can't see it.

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 12:19 | 1866248 Blkhat117
Blkhat117's picture

Hum the CME Group's gold manipulation days are numbered as China now value the price the gold in the Yuan and not the US dollar. "China produced nearly 300 tonnes of gold in 2008. It is also the only country in the top three where production rose in 2008" - Wikipedia

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 14:28 | 1866840 CustomersMan
CustomersMan's picture


   What I don't get is this. Hong Kong has some of the highest cost Real Estate on the planet. To store your unsold crap in Hong Kong seems unimaginable unless access to shipping and other export carriers in and out of there makes up for it.


  Time for some hard-riding.....Baltic-Dry-Hole-Bitchezzzz. I hope they have overstocked KY in the tube or squeeze bottles.

Fri, 11/11/2011 - 03:35 | 1869187 EZYJET PILOT
EZYJET PILOT's picture

Its the new Apple shop, I walk past it every day, full of manic mainlanders, it's depressing, very depressing. I find it revealing that the US relies on a new shop in the IFC mall to shout from the roof tops about it's cut in defecits, says it all.

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