Thai exports in January contracted by 6.03 percent year-on-year with the total value of over US$15.7 billion owing to Thailand’s 2011 mega-flood and sluggish demand in Thailand’s key markets – the US, Japan and the European Union, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Deputy Commerce Minister Poom Sarapol told a news briefing on Thursday that the falling exports were attributed to the impact of the country’s floods late last year and the sluggish demand in the country’s main mature markets which have not yet fully recovered from the economic crisis.
Exports in agricultural and agro-industrial products shrank by 4.6 percent – including rice with a 39.8 percent decrease, rubber with a 20.6 percent drop as well as frozen and processed prawns declining 18.1 percent.
Similarly, industrial goods dropped 13.5 percent, particularly electronics with a 27.1 percent drop, electrical appliances with a decrease of 17.5 percent and 12.1 percent decline in automobiles.
Meanwhile, imports in the first month of this year exceeded $16.8 billion, contracting by 4.2 percent, involving mainly capital goods and raw materials.
In consequence, Thailand posted a trade deficit of some $1.1 billion.
Despite the contraction, the commerce ministry projected that the exports in the coming months would improve, Poom said, adding that the ministry still keeps its target of this year’s overall export expansion at 15 percent.