Thai exports grow 17.6% in May: Commerce Ministry

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BANGKOK, June 20 – Thai exports in May grew by 17.6 per cent, rising to US$19.46 billion while the country’s exports in the first five months of this year grew 25.2 per cent, valued to US$93 billion, according to Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai.

Meanwhile, imports in May amounted to US$19 billion, an increase of 33.8 per cent, so Thailand enjoyed trade surplus of US$ 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 per cent — while rice exports expanded by 99 per cent in accordance with the government’s strategy.

However, automotive exports dropped 22.8 per cent while auto exports fell by 36.9 per cent but auto part exports increased by 1.9 per cent. Ms Pornthiva said she believed that Japanese economy will soon recover and Thailand’s automotive exports will return to normal.

Thailand benefits from seven Free Trade Agreements with Japan, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and the Asean countries (Asean Free Trade Agreement, AFTA), she said. Exports are valued US$10.38 billion, an 18.4 per cent growth.  Thailand used FTA privileges by 34 per cent or US$ 3.5 billion, an increase of 76 per cent.

In the first five months from January to May this year, exports were worth US$49.57 billion, a growth of 20.8 per cent, with imports recorded at US$ 53.153 billion, a growth of 25.6 per cent. 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 minsiter said. (MCOT online news)