Thai exports in February were valued at US$17.9 billion, a drop of 5.83 percent compared to the same period last year, said Permanent Secretary for Commerce Watcharee Wimuktayon.
Exports in farm and agro-industrial products such as rice, para rubber, frozen seafood, canned and processed food dropped 13.5 percent. Meanwhile, exports in industrial goods such as textiles, gems, jewelry, rubber products, paper and containers declined 2.6 percent.
Exports to almost all markets dropped due to the fragile global economy, particularly main markets like Japan, which dropped by 1.1 percent, the US by 0.9 percent and the European Union by 0.8 percent.
However, the baht strengthening started to impact exports slightly as orders were submitted in advance.
The prime minister earlier assigned the commerce ministry to map out a proactive plan to find new potential markets and to expand Thai exports in all markets.
The ministry will meet with the private sector, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries, and the Thai Bankers’ Association on April 9 to review measures to boost export growth to reach the 8-9 percent target this year.
The commerce ministry has no plan to revise the 2013 export target but if the global situation fluctuates, it will be reviewed in the first half of this year. However, it is believed that Thailand’s exports in March will turn positive with an increase of farm product exports, particularly rice, Ms Watcharee said.