Thai exports expand 3.9% in August

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The value of Thailand’s exports in August rose to US$20.467 billion year on year to 3.92 per cent, a senior Commerce Ministry official said today.

Srirat Rastapana, International Trade Promotion Department director general, said the export surge was due to to the strengthened global economy and major export sectors included electronics products, automobiles and parts, textiles and jewellery.

Exports to the US increased by 3.6 per cent, Japan 6 per cent, and European Union 13.4 per cent. Total export value in the first eight months was $152.836 billion, or 1.03 per cent higher.

Imports in August declined 2.1 per cent to US$20.562 billion, said Ms Srirat, adding that imports of raw materials fell by 4.9 per cent and capital goods by 7.3 per cent.

Total imports in the first eight months of the year increased 3.1 per cent to $170.983 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $94.7 million in August and $18.147 billion in January-August.

It is estimated that the country’s exports this year should scale up 4 per cent, which is lower than the forecast 7-7.5 per cent.

Ms Srirat said Thailand must improve its competitive edge in the electronics sector which has declined due to overseas companies’ relocation of their production bases from Thailand given the problems of natural disasters and adequate labour force.

The Industry Ministry, Board of Investment and related agencies must find measures to promote new industries with less dependence on the labour force, she said.

With cooperation from all state agencies, Thailand’s monthly export volume should exceed US$20 billion while next year’s export growth should not be less than 5-7 per cent, she said.