After 10 months of contraction, Thai exports expand 2.6% in August
Thailand's exports expanded by 2.6% in August, ending 10 consecutive months of contraction.
Commerce Ministry permanent secretary Keerati Rushchano said Thai exports in August were valued at US$24.28 billion (824.94 billion baht), reflecting a 2.6% growth over the past 11 months of the fiscal year ending in September. Thailand enjoyed a trade surplus of U$359.9 million. Agriculture and industrial exports contributed significantly to this growth.
During the first eight months of 2023, total exports amounted to US$187.59 billion (6.38 trillion baht), a 4.5% contraction year on year. However, he said there were positive signs in the last three months, as Thailand had outperformed other exporters like India, Taiwan, South Korea and China in August.
Agricultural exports, one of the key drivers of Thailand's export sector, have seen an expansion in the past four months, particularly in August, he said. Agricultural exports in August were valued at U$2.17 billion (75.33 billion baht), a 4.2% increase month on month. Products that have shown significant growth include fresh fruits, frozen and dried fruits, as well as fresh and frozen vegetables. Additionally, there has been a positive trend in rice exports for two consecutive months, he said.
The industrial sector has seen a steady expansion in exports over the past three months, with exports in August reaching a total value of U$19.16 billion (650.98 billion baht), marking a 2.5% increase. Notable products that have expanded include semi-conductor and diode devices, electrical transformers, circuit board components, telephone equipment and accessories, and machinery and parts.
The automotive sector has also played a significant role in the turnaround, with exports of vehicles, equipments and components reaching U$2.60 billion (88.32 billion baht) in August, he said. This marks a substantial 5.2% increase month on month and continuous expansion for eight consecutive months. Cumulatively, from January to August of this year, Thailand's exports have reached U$19.63 billion (667.845 billion baht), showing a 7.7% increase year on year.
These positive trends indicate that Thailand's export sector is seeing a turnaround despite global economic uncertainties, including high and prolonged interest rates affecting production and consumption, especially for non-essential goods, Keerati said.
Additionally, the threat of drought may impact production for export, and political instability remains a concern. The Commerce Ministry will continue to closely monitor the situation and adapt its strategies accordingly, Keerati said.