Thailand’s exports down 7% in September

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Thailand’s exports in September declined by 7.09 per cent while exports for the entire year should grow by 4 per cent, according to the Commerce Ministry.

Srirat Rastapana, permanent secretary for commerce, said Thailand’s export value in September was US$19.3 billion, or 7.09 per cent lower compared to the same month last year while import value was at US$18.83 billion, a decline of 5.23 per cent or a US$473.2 million surplus.

Exports in the first nine months of the year amounted at US$172.13 billion – a 0.05 per cent increase from the same period last year, while import value was US$189.8 billion – a 2.21 per cent increase.

Accumulating losses in the first nine months were US$17.67 billion, mainly due to export deficits with such countries as Japan, the Eurozone, the US and India, she said.

The global economic slowdown has impacted Thailand’s exports with the overall industrial sector suffering a 9.1 per cent reduction from exports of construction materials, jewellery and accessories and electrical appliances.

The export value of agriculture produce was, however, 2.7 per cent higher.

If export value surges to US$21-22 billion per month in the final quarter of this year, Thailand would enjoy an export growth of 4 per cent, said Ms Srirat.

She said the 4 per cent possibility would be in accord with an earlier statement Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisarn.

The Commerce Ministry would do its best though the central bank has lowered export value to only 1 per cent, she said.

Ms Srirat said the commerce minister would meet with industrial sector representatives to jointly assess this year’s export value and map out a strategy to boost exports next year.

The Commerce Ministry projects exports expanding by at least 5 per cent next year.