As global demand weakened, Thailand’s customs-based exports decreased for a fourth consecutive month and more than anticipated in January. Shipments are anticipated to decline even more in the first half of the year, according to the Commerce Ministry.

January’s year-on-year export contraction of 4.5% was worse than the 1% decline anticipated in a Reuters poll, but an improvement from December’s decline of 14.6%. Yet after a 5.5% gain in 2022, the ministry is still aiming for a 1% to 2% growth in exports this year.

In January, rice exports increased while shipments of autos and auto parts increased by 9.2%. However, the ministry reported that shipments of other industrial goods fell, with computers and parts down 21% year over year.

In January, imports increased by 5.5% compared to the previous year, with a surge in fuel shipments resulting in a trade deficit of $4.65 billion, the highest in ten years, according to the ministry.

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