Thai exports for the month of April shrank 1.7 % for the fourth consecutive month bringing the year to date export slide for four months to 4 %, according to the latest figures from the Commerce Ministry.
Thailand’s exports shrank 4.45% year-over-year in March, and 4.69% for the first quarter of this year.
Mr. Somkiat said the April contraction was partly attributed to the long Thai traditional New Year holiday that resulted in few working days, although he noted that a smaller drop signaled an improvement in the country’s trade.
Imports fell 6.84% in April compared with the same time of last year to $17.42 billion. From January to April, total imports contracted 6.53% from a year ago.
In 2014 Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion reported that Thai exports shrank by 0.41 per cent, contracting for the second consecutive year.
Thailand’s economy may grow less than the central bank’s forecast of 3,8 per cent this year should exports contract again.
According to Ath Pisalvanich, Director of the International Trade Studies Centre at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the export situation of Thailand in 2015 is expected to remain slightly better than 2014.
However, the future is still not so rosy bright due to the market shrink of Thai exports to Europe, Japan and China.
Earlier this month, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board cut its GDP growth forecast for this year to 3-4% from an earlier prediction of 3.5-4.5%.
It stated that the downward revision was mainly from the drop in export values following the falling global oil and farm prices.
It also expects Thailand to post only 0.2% growth in exports in 2015 from earlier projected 3.5%, while household consumption will expand by 2.3%.
The World Bank last month projected Thailand’s GDP will rise 3.5 percent this year, the weakest compared with estimates for the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Thai exports fell 0.3 percent in 2014, compared with a 9 percent gain for the Philippines and 7 percent for Malaysia, Bloomberg data show.