Sunday, November 29, 2020

September exports better than predicted as Thai recovery accelerates

Oct 22. 2020
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By THE NATION

Thailand’s exports continued to recover in September, fetching US$19.6 billion for a smaller-than-expected drop of 3.56 per cent from a year earlier, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.

Reuter’s had forecast a drop of 4.08 per cent after exports fell by 7.94 per cent in August.

Imports in September dropped 9.08 per cent year on year, to $17.3 billion, resulting in a $2.23-billion trade surplus, said Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the ministry's Trade Policy and Strategy Office.

“In the first nine months of 2020, total exports are at $172.9 billion, decreasing 7.33 per cent year on year, while total imports are at $152.2 billion, decreasing 14.64 per cent,” she said. “Thailand therefore has a trade surplus of $20.6 billion so far [this year].”

Pimchanok added that Asia’s economy is recovering from the Covid-19 fallout faster than those in Europe and the United States.

“This has resulted in rising exports of agricultural products and processed foods to Asian markets,” she said, adding that Thailand’s exports in 2020 are expected to shrink by 6-7 per cent from a year earlier.

She said escalating political tension between the government and pro-democracy demonstrators should have no direct impact on exports, which rely on demand from overseas customers.

“However, it could affect the confidence of foreign investors who might hesitate to invest in Thailand if the government shows a lack of stability,” she added.

“The export sector still looks promising as Thailand produces various products to meet the demand of foreign markets during the outbreak, especially rubber gloves and medical equipment,” she said. “Furthermore, Thai products meet international safety and quality standards.”

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