Thai exports in August were valued at US$21.5 billion, up 31.1 per cent year-on-year, a new record high, but imports were up 44 per cent year-on-year, putting the country’s trade balance to a deficit, said Yanyong Phuangrach, Permanent Secretary for Commerce.

Exports in all commodity categories increased in all markets, particularly agricultural products.

Export values rose 64.3 per cent with rice exports up by 67 per cent, rubber by 69 per cent and processed food by 31.5 per cent.  Industrial goods expanded by 16.5 per cent.

Thai exports
Exports in all commodity categories increased in all markets, particularly agricultural products

Imports in August were valued at $22.77 billion, a 44 per cent growth. Imports in all categories, including capital goods, raw materials, fuel and consumer goods, rose, contributing to a trade deficit of US$1.2 billion in August.

Thai exports hit record high this year

Export values in the first eight months of 2011 were recorded at $158 billion, a 26 per cent growth, while imports were valued at $153 billion, an increase of 28.5 per cent.

Thailand enjoyed a trade surplus of $5 billion.

Exports at year-end are likely to continue to grow, in particular exports to the ASEAN markets, new emerging markets to offset Thailand’s traditional markets, now affected by economic problems.

Tesco is to double its vegetable, fruit and meat exports from Thailand over the next five years.

The retailer’s sourcing manager for Asia and Oceania, Johnathan Sutton, said the value of Thai exports to the Tesco network worldwide was expected to reach Bt11.7bn (US$359.3m) this year, of which Bn6.3bn (US193.4m) are fresh produce exports.

Stores in Japan, Malaysia, Korea and Thailand are to help fuel this growth. Currently Thai fruit, vegetables and meat are exported by Tesco to 14 countries. In Britain they sell well, with consumers showing strong demand for fresh purple orchids.

This month, around 500 of Tesco’s British supermarkets are staging an annual Thailand produce promotion.

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