Thai export growth likely lower than 5% next month

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ANGKOK, April 26 – The surging Thai baht may force the Commerce Ministry to revise next month’s export target, according to Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom.

He said overseas purchase orders have dwindled, particularly for agricultural, electronics and textile products.

He said the ministry is awaiting the latest update from the International Trade Promotion Department but predicted an adjustment of export target to below five per cent.

Representatives of the Federation of Thai Industries and Thai Chamber of Commerce will call on the commerce minister today to seek the government’s assistance for exporters.

Mr Boonsong said the appreciation of Thai baht by over six per cent since early this year has deterred foreign importers from buying Thai goods.

The situation will be clearer in Q2 but the Commerce Ministry’s original target for export growth at 8-9 per cent, or a total value of US$240-250 billion, may not be achievable, he said.

As the baht has appreciated from Bt30 against the dollar to Bt28 against the dollar, the value of Thai exports has diminished by over Bt500 billion, he said, warning that the situation will worsen if the baht becomes stronger.