Exporters See Robust Growth as Global Demand Recovers
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit has expressed confidence that Thai exports could expand by up to 8% this year after robust growth in the first nine months.
Key supporting factors for Thai export growth include a resumption of global economic activities after the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, resulting in higher demand, particularly for food and industrial goods, gems and jewellery, garments and textiles, travel equipment and cosmetics.
The shortage of semiconductors has started to ease, leading to rising shipments of automobiles, while the depreciation of the baht has made Thai farm exports, especially for rice, more competitive in the global market, said Mr Jurin.
He said there was still a risk of a slowdown in trading partner economies as a result of high inflation and monetary tightening, and this should be monitored.
The ministry’s target is organising 530 events to facilitate exports this year, 345 of which were scheduled for the second half. Some 185 promotional activities were held in the first half of the year. The ministry reported yesterday the customs-cleared value of the country’s exports continued to expand in September for the 19th consecutive month. Exports grew by 7.8% to US$24.9 billion (888 billion baht), following a 7.5% year-on-year uptick in August and a 4.3% increase in July. Thai exports in the real sector (excluding gold, oil-related products and weaponry) rose by 9% in September year-on-year, easing from a 10.1% rise in August.
Major contributors were the shipment of industrial products, especially automobiles, computers and electronics, driven by the regional rebound in the supply of processor chips and the resulting acceleration in production to compensate for the previous shortage. In addition, the baht’s depreciation against major currencies and the continuous decline in the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index on Asian routes helped enhance the competitiveness of Thai exports. Imports in September increased by 15.6% year-on-year to $25.8 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $853 million. For the first nine months of 2022, Thai exports expanded by 10.6% to $221 billion, while imports rose by 20.7% to $236 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $15 billion. Chaichan Charoensuk, chairman of the Thai National Shippers’ Council, said the country’s export prospects for the remainder of this year remain in good shape, while the baht depreciation will continue to benefit exports.
“We are happy with the better than expected export results in September,” he said.
“We expect Thai exports, particularly automobiles, to continue to grow the rest of this year after the semiconductor shortage started to ease. We hope shipment growth for the full year can reach 10%.”
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