Thai exports fell for third successive month in December
Thai exports fell for a third consecutive month in December but the 2022 total rose 5.5% year on year to US$287.06 billion (9.406 trillion baht), according to the Commerce Ministry.
Total imports last year rose 13.6%, leading to a trade deficit of $16.122 billion (528.56 billion baht).
December saw exports contract 14.6% year on year while imports shrank 12%, generating a trade deficit of US$1.03 billion (33.85 billion baht).
December’s export contraction was driven by industrial products (down 15.7%), agricultural products (down 11.6%), and agro-industrial products (down 10.8%).
Thai export markets that saw the biggest expansion in 2022 were the Middle East, United Kingdom, Canada, United States, CLMV, other Asean countries and South Asia.
Thai export growth last year was led by sugar, telephones, gems and jewellery, vegetable/animal fats and oil, transformers and components, semiconductors, and processed chicken.
The Commerce Ministry has targeted a 1-2% export expansion in 2023, lower than the 4% targeted in 2022. It said the lower target was due to the stagnating global economy, baht strengthening, rising fuel prices, and manufacturing costs.
Export expansion this year would be driven by the reopening of border checkpoints, increasing global food demand, and easing of global logistics problems including the container shortage, it added.