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Thailand’s export sector shows signs of revival as countries slowly open up

Oct 23. 2020
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By The Nation

Thailand’s export sector is expected to show signs of recovery for three consecutive months as export in September contracted 3.86 per cent compared to a 9.08 per cent contraction in the same period last year, the Trade Policy and Strategy Office said.

Relate story:

September exports better than predicted as Thai recovery accelerates

Export in September stood at US$19.62 billion, down 3.86 per cent from $17.39 billion last year, resulting in a $2.23-billion trade surplus.

Meanwhile, export in the first nine months of this year was $172.99 billion, down 7.33 per cent year on year, while import was valued at $152.37 billion, down 14.64 per cent year on year, resulting in a $20.62-billion trade surplus.

The export sector began showing recovery in September in line with economic upturn in other countries in response to the easing of lockdown measures and travel restrictions.

Export rose in three areas:

• Food, such as tapioca, palm oil, frozen pork, beverages, seasoning and pet food.

• Electrical appliances, such as computers and its components, motorised furniture and parts, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and solar panels.

• Medical products such as rubber gloves and pharmaceuticals, the export of which had been rising since the arrival of Covid-19.

Between January and September this year, the export value of agricultural products stood at $29.46 billion, down 3.8 per cent year on year. Of this, $5.22 billion was accounted for by frozen, canned and processed vegetables and fruit, marking a rise of 8.2 per cent, rice exports dropped 15.3 per cent at $2.70 billion, rubber was down 26.5 per cent at $2.36 billion, tapioca dropped 1.9 per cent at $2 billion, while export of canned tuna dropped 9.1 per cent at $1.75 billion.

The export value of industrial products stood at $138.49 billion, down 7.3 per cent year on year. Of this, export of electrical appliances dropped 7 per cent to $17.05 billion, gems and jewellery rose 23.7 per cent to $16.13 billion, gold exports rose 88.8 per cent to $12.77 billion, up 88.8 per cent, while automobiles and auto components dropped 29.2 per cent to $14.73 billion, computers and components dropped 1.8 per cent to $13.64 billion, and plastic beads and products dropped 13.8 per cent to $8.74 billion.

Thailand’s exports to the US, China, Australia, Vietnam, Malaysia and South Korea has risen, while exports to Japan, India and the UK have dropped.

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