By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
Exports of most Thai products are expected to show a brighter recovery in the second half of the year, but shipments of shrimp and television screens will continued to be slow.
After meeting with exporters in various sectors, Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said the Commerce Ministry was confident of stronger export expansion in the second half.
Products that will show brighter growth are mainly automobiles, electronics, electrical appliances, and foods. However, shrimp exports will continue to shrink because of a shortage of supply and allegations of labour problems in Thailand. TV screens will face high competition as technology has been changing fast to plasma and LCD (liquid crystal display) from CRT (cathode ray tubes). Consumers have also become less interested in DVDs. Thus the ministry believes Thai enterprises need to adapt more quickly to new technology.
Some commodities such as sugar, rubber, and oil palm will also continue to see slow export growth in the second half as agricultural prices decline in the world market.
Shipments of processed food, however, will increase significantly in the second half, mainly instant noodles, ready-to-eat foods, processed vegetables and fruits, and, after many countries cancelled their import bans on Thai chicken, processed poultry.
Export of electrical appliances, mainly air-conditioners, will see large increases this year to the Middle East and the United States.
Export of furniture and parts will grow to Asean, Japan and Europe as Thai products are widely accepted for good quality and design. Chemical products, cosmetics and fertiliser will also see increased shipments in the second half to China, Japan, and Asean markets.
Overall, Nuntawan said exports to every market would see rising trends during the remainder of the year, particularly to the United States and European nations such as Germany, France and Britain as their economies recover. Similar trends will be seen in countries neighbouring Thailand and in the Middle East and Africa.
Nevertheless, the department will closely monitor the situation in China as its government pursues a policy to rely more on domestic production, which could lower import demand.