BANGKOK, March 24 – The Commerce Ministry reported declining exports in February due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and expects post-outbreak export growth.
Pimchanok Vonkorpon, the ministry’s director-general for trade policies and strategies, said exports in February amounted to US20.64 billion, down by 4.47% year-on-year, because of declining oil prices and the huge export of weapons used for military exercises in the same period last year.
When the exports of gold, oil and weapons are excluded, remaining exports grew by 1.51%, she said.
In the first two months of this year, exports amounted to US$40.27 billion, down 0.81%.
Imports last month valued US$16.74 billion, down 4.30%. Miss Pimchanok said the import decline raised concerns because it included a 9% decrease in the import of capital goods that would affect export-oriented production.
However, she said that Thai exports were doing well in Europe and the Middle East. The strengths of Thai exports rested with their diversity and included products for people’s survival such as chicken, seafood, vegetables, fruits, furniture and garments, the exports of which were growing well, she said.
“Demand for such products will surely rise this year and grow noticeably in the second quarter as the COVID-19 situation is improving in Asia,” Miss Pimchanok said.
If export values stand at US$20.59 billion a month for the rest period of this year, annual exports will expand, she said. (TNA)