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NEWS UPDATES 21 February 2010

Thailand: Shipments increase 31% in January

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Thai exports in January rose by nearly one-third -- 30.83 percent-- year-on-year, with a value of $13,723, reported national news agency TNA.

Commerce Minister Pornthiva Nakasai is targeting this year’s entire exports to grow 14 percent. Pornthiva on Friday said that exports in all categories have expanded for three consecutive months.

In January, exports of agricultural and agro-industrial products such as rice, natural rubber, cassava, sugar and food products were up 46.2 percent while rising exports of industrial goods like electronic appliances, vehicles grew 27.8 percent

Thailand's main export markets have continued expanding 28.4 percent while the new markets increased by 33.2 percent. High growth of the new markets was recorded at 141.7 percent for India, 96 percent for Taiwan and 94.2 percent for China, Mrs Pornthiva said.

Meanwhile, import values in January stood at $13,208, an increase of 44.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

Rising imports included fuel by 59.6 percent, consumer goods by 22.9 percent, and vehicles and transportation equipment by 47.3 percent.

Thailand enjoyed a trade surplus of $516 million in January 2010.

However, the 2010 entire export is projected to expand 14 percent, worth $173 billion due to continuing global economic recovery and the kicking in of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) agreement, the commerce minister said.

Due to both factors, Thai exports in February and March are expected to turn positive with the further value of $13 billion.

Even though the baht value is forecast to stand at Bt33 per dollar, exports in the first quarter may expand 17 percent, to $39-40 billion.

Regarding Thailand's internal political instability, Mrs Pornthiva is confident that the government can control the situation as it has already issued measures to brace for a possible untoward incident. Speaking about Vietnam’s dong devaluation, she said if the devaluation happens again, it will not be a sharp devaluation.


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