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Thai exports down 3.45 % in January, Target at +1.4% for 2015 unchanged

Is Thailand is heading for a third straight year of slumping exports ? This would be something the second largest economy in Asean hasn’t experienced in at least two decades

Olivier Languepin

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Thailand’s Exports for January dropped by 3.46 percent to US$ 17.2 billion compared to the same period last year mainly due to global oil price reductions.

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Global oil price cuts

Is Thailand is heading for a third straight year of slumping exports ? This would be something the second largest economy in Asean hasn’t experienced in at least two decades, and a loss that magnifies challenges for the military-run government. Exports contracted by 0.4 per cent in 2014, and 2015 perspective remains unclear.

Exports, which equal more than 60 % of gross domestic product, dropped 3.46 per cent in January from a year earlier, the Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday.

Mrs Chanthira Yimrewat, deputy director-general of International Trade Promotion Department, said Wednesday that global oil price cuts had resulted to the value of oil-based export products such as chemicals and plastic chips to drop accordingly.

Value of imports during the same period also dropped 13.3 % to US$ 17.7 billion resulting to trade deficit amounting to US$ 457 million.

Export of farm products and agro-industrial products contracted 13 percent resulting from 40.6 % contraction in value of rubber export; 13 percent contraction in value of rice exports; 12.1 percent drop in value of tapioca products; 9.7 percent drop in value of seafoods export.

Exports to China down 20%

Industrial products expanded 0.6 percent. Exported Industrial products which registered increase in value included cars and accessories, jewelry, iron, steel and computers.

Exports to China dropped 19.7 percent while exports to ASEAN countries also dropped by 0.7 percent for the same period.

Forecast at +1.4% for 2015 unchanged

The TNSC’s prediction is in line with the Finance Ministry’s forecast of 1.4-per-cent export growth this year.

Despite lower exports last month, the Commerce Ministry has not yet adjusted its full-year target. Chanter Chantira Jimreivat Vivatrat, deputy director-general of the ministry’s International Trade Promotion Department, said the agency would closely monitor all factors that could affect exports this year.

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