13 Thai export growth projected as worst in 4 years

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BANGKOK, Oct 29 – Thailand’s exports in 2013 are projected to grow only 1.3 per cent, at a value of US$232.2 billion – their lowest in four years, the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce announced today.

The university’s International Trade Study Centre said exports in Q4 would expand by 5.1 per cent or US$60.1 billion due to strengthened economies in the US, the European Union (EU) and Southeast Asia.

The global economic slowdown has also wreaked havoc in Japan, China and India. Japan’s market successively declined in Q3, while China and India also faced trade deficits

The university said the Commerce Ministry’s forecast of export growth at 3-4 per cent this year would be almost impossible, adding that the projection would be met only if exports in Q4 increase no less than 15 per cent each month, or at a value of US$22 billion per month

Thailand’s monthly export value has never been higher than US$22 billion, it said.

The university projected next year’s export growth at 5.5 per cent, at a value of US$240-250 billion, given global economic revival especially in the US, EU and Southeast Asia – the significant countries for Thailand’s export performance.

However, the continued economic slowdown in China and Japan could be a risk factor in light of Japan’s economic deficit for three consecutive years and volatile currency exchange – a consequence of the US’s expansion of debt ceiling and enforcement of quantitative easing.

Another risk factor for Thai exports is the declining prices of agricultural produce including rice and rubber from this year’s Q4 to next year’s Q1, said the university, expressing optimism that prices of agricultural produce could, however, be higher in tandem with global economic revival.

The industrial sector including auto and electrical appliances productions would be the driving force for the Thai economy, the university concluded. (MCOT online news)