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Brighter export outlook for the rest of the year

The Bangkok Post logo The Bangkok Post 22/10/2020 The Bangkok Post
a large ship in the water © The Bangkok Post

Exports are expected to slowly recover in the remaining months this year, boosted by strong demand for food, people working from home, Covid-19-related products, and automobiles and parts.

Speaking after the second meeting of the Joint Public and Private Sector Consultative Committee on Commerce, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said on Wednesday both the public and private sectors concurred that the country’s export prospects have shown positive signs and are expected to contract by less than projected the remainder of this year.

The Trade Policy and Strategy Office scheduled a meeting today to report the export performance for September.

On Sept 23, the Commerce Ministry reported the value of exports improved in August on a month-by-month basis and stood above US$20 billion for the first time in five months.

Customs-cleared exports fetched $20.2 billion in August, down 7.9%, after dropping 11.4% year-on-year in July and falling 23.2% in June, marking the weakest pace since July 2009.

Imports fell 19.7% in August to $15.9 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $4.34 billion.

For the first eight months of 2020, exports shrank 7.8% to $153 billion, while imports dropped 15.3% to $135 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $18.4 billion.

Segments that expanded favourably include palm oil, chilled and frozen pork, pet food, cassava products, rubber gloves, washing machines and dry cleaning machines, fax machines, telephones, equipment and parts, and gold.

Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries, said exports this year are expected to beat an earlier outlook of a 10-12% contraction.

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