BANGKOK, Sept 22 – Thai exports in August were valued at US$21.5 billion, up 31.1 per cent year-on-year, a new record high, but imports were up 44 per cent year-on-year, putting the country’s trade balance to a deficit, said Yanyong Phuangrach, Permanent Secretary for Commerce.
Exports in all commodity categories increased in all markets, particularly agricultural produce.
Export values rose 64.3 per cent with rice exports up by 67 per cent, rubber by 69 per cent and processed food by 31.5 per cent. Industrial goods expanded by 16.5 per cent.
Imports in August were valued at $22.77 billion, a 44 per cent growth. Imports in all categories, including capital goods, raw materials, fuel and consumer goods, rose, contributing to a trade deficit of US$1.2 billion in August.
Export values in the first eight months of 2011 were recorded at $158 billion, a 26 per cent growth, while imports were valued at $153 billion, an increase of 28.5 per cent.
Thailand enjoyed a trade surplus of $5 billion.
Exports at year-end are likely to continue to grow, in particular exports to the ASEAN markets, new emerging markets to offset Thailand’s traditional markets, now affected by economic problems.
The Commerce Ministry revised its export target this year to grow by 20 per cent from 15 per cent with export values expected at $234 billion.