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Thailand's exports up for third months


August 23, 2008

Thailand's exports up for three months
Thailand's exports continued to surge to record highs for the third consecutive month in July, although the balance of trade remained in deficit, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Thai News Agency quoted Permanent Secretary for Commerce Siripol Yodmuangcharoen as saying Thursday that Thailand's exports in July totaled $16.96 billion, up 43.9 percent from the same month last year, while imports amounted to $17.98 billion, up 55.1 percent, resulting in a trade deficit of $1.03 billion.

The trade deficit was mainly attributed to increased fuel imports -- up 98.2 percent to $4.2 billion, oil exploration equipment valued at $200 million and liquefied petroleum gas valued at $200 million.

Export items with the highest value in July are in the agricultural products sector, which surged by 71.8 percent to $3.06 billion upon higher demand and prices in the world market.    

For instance, Thailand's rice, natural rubber, processed and frozen seafood, and canned and frozen fruit exports soared by 212.1, 51.9, 35.7, and 38.1 percent respectively.

The exports in the first seven months of this year totaled $104.17 billion, up 26.1 percent from the corresponding period the year before, and the imports amounted to $106.26 billion, up 38.6 percent, resulting in the trade deficit of $2.09 billion.

He said although Thailand enjoyed an export growth of 43.9 percent in July, it is necessary to closely monitor oil price movements in the world market, currency appreciation, and economic recession in the United States, all of which have repercussions around the world.

However, he said, the ministry remained confident the country's exports would grow at least 12.5 percent this year.

To reach the challenging target growth of 15 and 20 percent, Mr. Siripol said, the private and public sectors must cooperate more closely to seek new markets to increase the country's export base.

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