Thai exports shrink 7.4% in August

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BANGKOK, Sept 29 –The Ministry of Commerce reported that the value of Thai exports shrank 7.4 per cent year on year in August, marking the heaviest decline in 32 months.

The ministry set the export growth target for this year only at 1 per cent as Thailand’s main markets have yet to recover.

Nantawan Sakuntanak, director-general of the Department of International Trade Promotion, said that the value of Thai exports stood at US$18.9 billion in August.

The decline continued for the second consecutive month and the 7.4 per cent year-on-year fall reached rock bottom in 32 months after December 2011.

Ms Nantawan said that the global economy did not recover as earlier expected, investment in gold consequently slowed down and China that was a major market of Thai gold exports imported gold from Hong Kong instead.

The value of Thailand’s gold exports plunged by as much as 92.9 per cent to only US$72 million in August compared with US$2 billion in August last year.

In addition the export of refined oil products fell steadily and the export of industrial goods dropped by 8.7 per cent after a rise. The value of Thai exports in the first eight months of this year stood at US$150.5 billion, declining 1.36 per cent.

However, Ms Nantawan hopes that the value of Thai exports should increase by 0.5-1 per cent throughout this year because there is significant demand for Thai products late this year despite the delayed recovery of the global economy.

The value of Thai imports in August 2014 amounted to US$17.8 billion, dropping by 14.17 per cent.

In the first eight months of this year the import value stood at US$150.3 billion, falling  12.7 per cent. Thailand posted a trade surplus of US$1.15 billion in August this year and US$280 million in the first eight months of this year.