6 June 2024

Thailand’s continuing export contraction, now in its seventh consecutive month, with April down by 7.6% year on year, will pose a real challenge for the new government, according to a forecast by the Kasikorn Research Centre (KRC).

The centre attributed the slide to the global economic slowdown, putting pressure on purchasing by Thailand’s major customers, including the United States, Japan and the Euro Zone.

The centre did point to a positive sign for Thai exports to China, which are expanding by about 23% year on year, due to the economic recovery in China after ten months of contraction.

The KRC noted there are other negative factors, such as geopolitical conflicts, currency fluctuations and unfavourable climate conditions, which may continue to dampen sentiment.

The centre predicted that overall Thai exports for this year will shrink by 1.2%.

According to the Thai Ministry of Commerce, the country’s exports in April amounted to about US$21.7 billion (797 billion baht), representing a reduction of 7.6% year-on-year.

Imports during the same month totalled US$23.2 billion (797.3 billion baht), a drop of 7.3% year-on-year.

Total exports for the first four months of this year totalled US$92 billion, a drop of 5.2%, while imports totalled US$ 96.5 billion, a drop of 2.2%. The trade was US$ 4.5 billion.

Exports of industrial products, such as computers and parts, machinery, gems and ornaments and steel dropped, 11.2% in April, while exports of cars and accessories, semiconductors, transformers and transistors were up.

Exports of farm and agro-industrial products increased by 8.2% for three consecutive months, particularly frozen chicken, frozen and dried fruits, drinks, canned food, milk and milk products, while exports of rubber, tapioca, canned seafood, vegetable and animal oils and animal feed dropped.

Cross-border trade for April increased by 14.2% to 149.8 billion baht, including 90 billion baht in exports, an increase of 22.3%, and 59 billion baht of imports, up 3.57%.