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Thai export sector shows signs of recovery as global economy wakes from slumber

Thailand’s international trade has been improving in line with the gradual recovery of the global economy, with Thai exports bringing in more than US$20 billion as of February.


Though overall exports have dropped by 2.59 per cent year-on-year, export in the real sector excluding gold, oil and weaponry, has continued to soar, reflected by a 2.87 per cent growth.


Major industrial products, such as equipment and parts for automobiles and computers, integrated circuits, steel and steel products, chemicals and plastic resin, showed robust recovery.


The recovery of Thailand’s export sector coincides with the upward revision of the global economic outlook by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCED) to 5.6 per cent growth this year from an earlier estimate of 4.2 per cent.


Moreover, the Global Manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers index) has stood above 50 (53.9) for eight months running as of February.


Products with strong expansion in February are classified into three groups:


• Agriculture and food products like rubber, vegetables and fruits, cassava products, pet food and food seasoning.


• Work-at-home products and home appliances like furniture and parts, microwave ovens, heating appliances, refrigerators and freezers, washing machines and parts, air conditioners and parts, and cellphones and parts.


• Medical goods such as rubber gloves, medical equipment and parts.


Agricultural and agro-industrial product exports rose by 7 per cent year on year. Products that expanded favourably include cassava products (+46.6 per cent); fresh, frozen, canned, and processed vegetables and fruits (+42.9 per cent); rubber (+22.9 per cent); pet food (+20.7 per cent) and food seasoning (+3.4 per cent).


On the contrary, some exports dropped such as sugar (-35.5 per cent); frozen, canned and processed seafood (-10.9 per cent); fresh, frozen and processed chicken (-7.6 per cent) and rice (-4.9 per cent).


Meanwhile, the export of industrial products dropped by 4 per cent year on year, though the export of some things rose such as furniture and parts (+20.2 per cent); oil-related products (+14.8 per cent); computer, equipment and parts (+12.7 per cent); electrical appliances (+12.3 per cent); electronic integrated circuits (+9.5 per cent); automobile, equipment and parts (+3.6 per cent); and rubber products (+24.8 per cent).


Exports of some products dropped such as gold (-93.0 per cent); hard disk drive (-7.2 per cent); textiles (-12.5 per cent); semiconductors, transistors and diodes (-6.6 per cent). For the first two months of 2021, Thai industrial product exports declined by 1.7 per cent year on year.


Published : March 25, 2021