Q1 Thai exports expected to remain becalmed

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BANGKOK, March 31 – Thailand’s exports in Q1 this year are expected to remain stagnant due to the ongoing political situations and the world economy, according to the Thai National Shippers’s Council.

However, the council projected this year’s overall export growth at 5 per cent.

Council president Nopporn Thepsitthar said Thai exports in February increased slightly by 2.43 per cent, US$18.3 billion in value, resulting in the expansion of the country’s exports in Jan-Feb by 0.20 per cent, worth US$36.2 billion.

He said imports in February dropped 16.62 per cent, or US$16.5 billion, owing to lowered domestic consumption, particularly gold imports reduced by 89.4 per cent.

According to Mr Nopporn, the export sector is still facing a risk factor from the prolonged political situation which has impacted trade negotiations and logistics costs. Other factors dragging the export growth are currency exchange rates’ fluctuation, oil prices and Japan’s tax collection adjustments from 5 to 8 per cent starting in April.

Meanwhile, Wallop Wittanakorn, council vice-president, said if Thailand is to expand its exports as targetted at 5 per cent, export values per month must be at least US$20 billion, which he admitted could be difficult to reach. (MCOT online news)