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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           22   August  2011

Thai auto exports to recover

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Exports of Thai-built automobiles continued falling last month on lower production in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan six months ago, according to Surapong Phaisitpattanapong, spokesman for the automobile industry club at the Federation of Thai Industries.

However, exports should improve this month and fully recover in September, he said. Supplies of parts from Japan were disrupted after the March disaster, forcing carmakers in Thailand to cut their vehicle production.

Mr. Surapong said automobile exports in July dropped 13.47 percent year-on-year to 75,803 units worth 33.82 billion baht (US$1.1 billion), a decrease of 15.1 percent.

July last year was the best month of the year for exports, when shipments totaled 87,605 units. After the disaster, Thai exports in May fell 48 percent year-on-year to 38,656 units but they rose 9.20 percent year-on-year to 75,631 units in June.

"The lower exports in July had nothing to do with the export markets but were purely the result of the automobile production reduction," he said.

Asia remained the largest market for Thai-made vehicles, accounting for 32 percent by volume, followed by Australia (21 percent) and Middle East (20 percent).

Cumulative exports in the seven months to July were down 5.75 percent to 476,708 units worth 210.19 billion baht, a 10.5 percent decrease from the same period last year.

Mr. Surapong said local automobile production in July rose 1 percent year-on-year to 147,236 units. Passenger car production rose only 0.13 percent to 50,205 units but that of pickup trucks increased 1.45 percent to 96,987 units. The remaining volume was other types of vehicles such as heavy-duty trucks and buses.

In the first seven months, production also surged 4.7 percent year-on-year to 957,843 units, of which 350,679 units were passengers and 594,493 units were pickup trucks.

Production of motorcycles in July increased 20.1 percent year-on-year to 291,894 units and also rose 26.73 percent in seven months to 1.91 million units.

Motorcycle exports in July increased 41 percent year-on-year to 104,628 units worth 1.95 billion baht and in seven months jumped 57.1 percent to 658,505 units worth 16.35 billion baht.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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