Thailand’s cross-border trade hit by China’s ‘zero Covid’ policy

FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2022

China’s strict “zero Covid” policy has been blamed for a drop in Thailand’s cross-border and international border trade in April, which totalled 127.1 billion baht, down 10.8 per cent from the same period last year.

In April, Thai exports through cross-border trade and international trade across borders totalled 74.2 billion baht, down 15.7 per cent, while imports were recorded at 52.9 billion baht, down almost 3 per cent, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said on Friday.

He said the decline resulted from reduced exports to Vietnam and also to China, which has frequently closed its border to inbound cargo as part of its “zero Covid” policy.

Jurin, who doubles as deputy prime minister, added that Thailand has responded by shifting its China exports from land transport to air and sea routes.

Thailand’s border trade with its four direct neighbours – Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia – totalled 81.5 billion baht in April, up by 12.3 per cent from a year earlier.

Exports were recorded at 47.5 billion baht and imports 33.9 billion, up 7.8 and 19 per cent, respectively.

Malaysia remained Thailand’s largest cross-border trade partner, with 13.7 billion baht in exports, followed by Cambodia (12.4 billion), and Laos (10.5 billion).

Thailand’s international trade across borders with China, Singapore, Vietnam and others totalled 45.6 billion baht in April, down 34.8 per cent. Exports were 26.7 billion baht and imports 18.9 billion, down by 39.2 and 27.2 per cent, respectively.

China remained the largest market for international trade across borders, with exports totalling 11.9 billion baht, down as much as 45 per cent.

Singapore was second with 4.2 billion baht of exports, up 5.9 per cent, followed by Vietnam with 3.2 billion baht, down 24.7 per cent.