Thailand exports down 2.14 percent; trade deficit shrinks

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Bangkok, Thailand (4E) – Thailand’s trade activities in fell in May driven by lower farm-product shipments and weak imports, resulting to a decline in the country’s trade deficit.

Exports shrank across the board, declining 2.14 percent from the year-earlier month to $19.4bn, according to Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the Commerce Ministry’s Department of International Trade Promotion.

Exports of agricultural products dropped 3.5 percent in May and 6.4 percent in the January to May period, according to Thursday’s results. The decline was due to weak demand and price declines for sugar and rubber, along with a shortage in supply of shrimp, according to Ms. Nuntawan.

Exports of rubber fell 23 percent in May as key importers like China, Japan and Malaysia delayed orders due to their high level of stocks. Sugar exports tumbled 23 percent, according to the ministry.

Imports dropped 9.32 percent to $20.2bn, led by declines in capital goods, motor vehicles and motor-vehicle parts, according to ministry data. The results marks the 10th consecutive month of contraction in imports but the pace of decline eased from April, driven by higher imports of fuel and consumer products, the ministry said.

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