Shippers dismayed by Thailand’s export prospects

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BANGKOK, July 30 – Thailand’s exports have dropped for two consecutive months, sliding by almost 4 per cent in June, the Thai National Shippers Council (TNSC) announced today.

TNSC chairman Nopporn Thepsithar said June’s exports were valued at US$19.098 billion, down 3.38 per cent, mainly due to the economic slowdown among trading partners including China, Japan, the US, European and other Southeast Asian countries.

Thai exports to the regional market represented 24 per cent of the total volume and exports of Thai rice have shrunk by 18.85 per cent, he said.

Mr Nopporn said exports of other products were also on the decline, such as the furniture and home decor sector which suffered a 40.58 per cent decrease in June compared to the preceding month and household appliances down by 12.34 per cent.

The disappointing export volumes in May and June have dragged the total exports in the first half of the year down to US$113.304 billion, or a growth at only 0.95 per cent year-on-year, he said.

He said the TNSC predicted this year’s export expansion at only 3 per cent – an adjustment from an earlier forecast of 4.92 per cent.

If average monthly exports fail to reach US$20.4 billion in the second half of the year, the export growth will be less than 3 per cent, he added.

He pointed out that the economic downturn in China has impacted Thailand’s exports there. China represents 12 per cent of the kingdom’s total export volume, mainly comprised of rubber, chemicals, computers and plastic pellets.

Thai exports to China will expand by only 2 per cent, at a value of US$27.4 billion – a decline from 2.4 per cent last year, he said, adding that Thai exports to China in the first half of the year were only US$13 billion, a 3.6 per cent deficit.

If the government targets export growth to China at 2 per cent in the second half of the year, expansion must be 12 per cent, or at least US$15 billion, for the rest of the year, the TNSC chairman said.