Thai exports in May grew by 17.6 percent, rising to US$19.46 billion while the country’s exports in the first five months of this year grew 25.2 percent, valued to US$93 billion, according to Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai.
Meanwhile, imports in May amounted to US$19 billion, an increase of 33.8 percent, so Thailand enjoyed trade surplus of US$ 277 million for the month and US$ 2.17 billion for the first five months of this year.
Exports of agricultural goods expanded by nearly two-thirds – at 58.8 percent – while rice exports expanded by 99 percent in accordance with the government’s strategy.
However, automotive exports dropped 22.8 percent while auto exports fell by 36.9 percent but auto part exports increased by 1.9 percent. Pornthiva said she believed that the Japanese economy will soon recover and Thailand’s automotive exports will return to normal.
Thailand benefits from seven Free Trade Agreements, including Japan, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and the ASEAN countries (ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, AFTA) she said. Exports are valued US$10.38 billion, an 18.4 percent growth. Thailand used FTA privileges by 34 percent or US$ 3.5 billion, an increase of 76 percent.
In the first five months from January to May this year, exports were worth US$49.57 billion, a growth of 20.8 percent, with imports recorded at US$ 53.153 billion, a growth of 25.6 percent. The country’s trade deficit was recorded at US$3.68 billion. Despite the trade deficit under the FTAs, the trade agreements helped Thailand expand the markets, the commerce minister said. (MCOT online news)