Thai exports decrease in the 1st half of 2013 and still face challenge in the latter half

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BANGKOK, 28 August 2013 Thailand’s export sector begins its second half of 2013 by reporting a decrease in half-year value by 1.48% compared to the same period last year. As of July, Thailand’s export revenue was approximately at 19,000 million US dollars, 0.8% lower than the predicted figure.

Even with the expansion of Thai exports to potential markets, like Australia up 19.46%, the ASEAN market up 8.63%, and the African market up 7.21% but the profit is not sufficient to compensate for the decrease in Thai exports to traditional markets like Japan by 10.50%, China by 5.34% and the United States by 0.64%. The European Union (EU) is the only traditional market that saw a growth of 1.12% in Thai exports.

Prospects look even dimmer when such unsolved problems like Thai enterprises’ failure to tackle limitations on raw materials for production, and loss of competitiveness of some exports are taken into account. Therefore, Thai exports have fallen for the third consecutive month, causing the 7-month performance to drop to 132,368 million US dollars worth, expanding by only 0.6% when compared to the same period of last year.

As for the remainder of 2013, it is important to monitor next month’s export figure. The Kasikorn Research Center stated that Thailand’s export in 2013 still has favorable factors that could help offset some of the negative images. Furthermore, if the Chinese economy can sustain its import demands throughout the course of recovery in the second half of 2013, along with an improvement in the United States’ economy, the Japanese economy and that of the European Union, the remainder of 2013 may see a positive result for Thailand’s export sector.