Thailand suffers trade deficit against export growth

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Thailand’s trade deficit for the first 11 months of this year was posted at USS15.7 billion despite growth in exports, the Commerce Ministry announced today.

Srirat Rastapana, director general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said this year’s total exports will be higher than 5 percent if the export volume in lucrative December is more than $20 billion.

If not, export growth will be 4-5 percent at the most, she said, predicting next year’s exports to rise at not less than 8-9 percent.

In November alone, Srirat said, Thailand’s export value was over $19.6 billion, a 26.86 percent increase from the same period of last year.

The percentage growth of exports by country was reported as follows: Japan 13.5 percent, European Union (15 countries) 30 percent, the US 22 percent, Southeast Asian region 18.6 percent, India 45.2 percent, Hong Kong 85.2 percent, Australia 73 percent, Africa 42 percent and the Middle East 57.6 percent.

Southeast Asia, India and Hong Kong are classified as high potential markets for Thai exports.

The export of electrical appliances was increased by 1.3 percent, automotive spare parts 25.5 percent, construction materials 22.4 percent and jewelry and accessories 8 percent.

Exports in the agricultural sector declined 10.9 percent, especially rice, rubber, frozen shrimp and processed food, while frozen seafood, canned and processed food, frozen and processed chicken, and tapioca products enjoyed significant growth.

Imports in November totaled $21 billion, higher in every sector, especially in capital goods (62.5 percent more), automotive and transport equipment (74.7 percent higher), automotive spare parts (94.1 percent higher) and sedans (51.7 percent).