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Apr exports value up 1.1%

The value of Hong Kong’s total goods exports increased to $389 billion in April, up 1.1% compared with the same month last year, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   The value of imports of goods rose 2.1% to $425.6 billion for the same period.   A trade deficit of $36.6 billion, or 8.6% of the value of imports, was recorded for the month.   Comparing the three-month period ending April with the preceding three months on a seasonally adjusted basis, the value of total exports decreased 12% while that of imports fell 11.7%.   The Government said epidemic-induced transportation disruptions, though easing somewhat in the latter part of the month, continued to constrain export performance.   It pointed out that exports to the Mainland fell while those to the US and the European Union posted visible growth.   Looking ahead, the global economic outlook has worsened amid rampant inflation in some major economies and monetary policy tightening by respective cen

Vaccine packaging issue probed

(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)   An investigation by BioNTech has revealed that packaging defects in its COVID-19 vaccine vials were caused by the crimping process and ultra-low storage temperature but did not affect the jabs' safety.   Director of Health Dr Constance Chan told a media session this afternoon that the Department of Health received a written notification from BioNTech today on its investigation into the packaging issue.   Dr Chan said: “Upon further investigation, samples (of the BioNTech vaccine vials with packaging defects) detected in Hong Kong were sent back to Germany for an investigation. They have done numerous tests and experiments on the vials concerned. They have also done tests in another fill and finish plant operated by Baxter.   “In the process, they found out that in the vials packed at the site which provided batches (numbered) 210102 and 210104, there were issues related to the so-called crimping process. Crimping is the process by which pressure is applied to the aluminium ring which affixes to the rubber stopper at the top of the vial.   “We received a report that the (defect in question) is related to the process of crimping and at the same time the condition of the ultra-low temperature of minus 70 degrees Celsius. So that is why BioNTech has now decided to send the new vials from Baxter which have undergone repeated experiments and investigations, and that would exclude further occurrence of such an event.”
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