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20 June 2009

Thai shipments drop 27%, deepest since 1992

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Thailand’s exports fell the most since at least 1992 in May as the global recession eroded demand for products, reported Bloomberg news.

The decline may moderate as manufacturers buy more parts to ship abroad. Shipments dropped 26.6 percent from a year earlier to $11.7 billion, the news agency quoted Commerce Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Siripol Yodmuancharoen as saying. Bloomberg noted the decline as the steepest since it began tracking the data and compares with a 26.1 percent contraction in April. Imports retreated the least in six months.

“The decline has stabilised and, looking at other economic indicators, exports may improve,” said Nucharin Panarode, an economist at Capital Nomura Securities in Bangkok, adding she expected the magnitude of the contraction.

The slide in shipments, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, may ease in the coming months as manufacturers including Hana Microelectronics and KCE Electronics ship more products.

Thailand’s industrial output fell the least in five months in April as exporters’ customers started rebuilding stockpiles in anticipation of improving demand.

Exports may contract between 15 percent to 19 percent this year, Siripol said. Shipments may continue to decline in the third quarter and return to growth in the last three months of 2009, he said.


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