Thai exports in December 2011 were better than expected despite severe floods, resulting in a significant growth in Thai exports for the whole year. According to the Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Mr. Yanyong Phuangrach, exports were adversely affected in October and November as a consequence of the flood crisis in 2011.

The improved export situation in December showed that the industrial sector had picked up quickly.

Exports last year were valued at 228.8 billion US dollars, accounting for an increase of 17.2 percent over the previous year. The figure surpasses the growth target of 15 percent set earlier. In terms of the baht, the export value came to almost 6.9 trillion baht, representing an increase of 11.7 percent. Imports in 2011 were recorded at about 228.5 billion dollars, an increase of 24.9 percent.

In terms of the baht, they were valued at 6.9 trillion baht, accounting for an increase of 19 percent.Last year, Thailand gained a trade surplus of 334 million dollars in terms of the US dollar, however, owing to the exchange rate, it converted to a trade deficit of 77 billion baht.

Major export items that have enjoyed continued growth in both volume and value include rubber, tapioca, and food, especially frozen seafood and frozen and processed chicken.

Thai exports saw a decline in major markets as the European Union, Japan, and the United States

but saw an increase in ASEAN, India, Russia, Latin American, and Canada.

As for border trade in 2011, Thailand exported 587 billion baht worth of goods to Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, accounting for an increase of 20.7 percent. Imports from those countries came to 312.4 billion baht, an increase of 15.6 percent. Thailand enjoyed a surplus of 274.9 billion baht in border trade.Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Department of Export Promotion, Mrs. Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, said that industrial groups affected directly by the severe floods in 2011 involved agricultural and food production and electronics manufacturing.

Light industries, such as cosmetics production, were not affected directly.

But orders for products under these groups have dropped for various reasons, such as the decline in the number of tourists.She said that several warehouses in Bangkok and the provinces had been damaged by the flooding and companies had not been able to move raw materials and products to safe places.

In order to help the affected entrepreneurs, the Department of Export Promotion has coordinated with various trade associations, asking them to provide space for the flood-hit enterprises.The Department is also seeking cooperation from other organizations, such as Airports of Thailand and the Port Authority of Thailand, in offering available areas to facilitate the operations of the affected businesses.

via Inside Thailand — Significant Growth in Thai Exports.

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