Amid economic uncertainty and an inflationary environment posing challenges for Thai exports in the first half of 2023, the Ministry of Commerce anticipates a recovery for the country’s export sector in the second half of the year.
Department of International Trade Promotion Director-General Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit stated that Thai outbound shipments are expected to contract in the first and second quarters as importers still have large stockpiles. However, exports are expected to bounce back in the second half of this year.
According to the ministry’s data, the customs-cleared value of exports decreased for the fifth month in a row in February. For the first two months of 2023, Thai exports fell by 4.6% to 42.6 billion U.S. dollars. Factors in exports last month included a high base in February 2022 and key importing countries facing mounting pressure from the global economic slowdown, which hamper demand for products.
High inflation in many countries also affected consumer purchasing power, resulting in pressure on Thai exports. However, Thai exports of agricultural and agro-industrial products grew 3.6% year-on-year in February to 3.9 billion dollars, while industrial product exports declined for a fifth consecutive month in February, falling 6.2% to 17.6 billion dollars.
The government maintains its export growth target of 1-2% for the year, compared with a 5.5% increase in 2022. Despite the challenges faced by the Thai export sector, the Commerce Ministry remains optimistic that the industry will recover later in the year and continue to contribute to the country’s economic growth. (NNT)