Thailand forecasts brighter export outlook for rest of 2020

October 23, 2020

Thailand's Ministry of Commerce on Thursday indicated that Thai 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.

"Both the public and private sectors have indicated that Thailand's export prospects have shown positive signs and are expected to contract by less than what was projected earlier," said Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit at the ministry's Trade Policy and Strategy Office.

On Sept. 23, the Commerce Ministry reported the value of exports improved in August on a month-by-month basis and stood above 20 billion U.S. dollars for the first time in five months, said in report released by the office.

It also said that customs-cleared exports fetched 20.2 billion U.S. dollars in August, down 7.9 percent, after dropping 11.4 percent year-on-year in July and falling 23.2 percent in June, marking the weakest pace since July 2009.

Imports fell 19.7 percent in August to 15.9 billion U.S. dollars, resulting in a trade surplus of 4.34 billion U.S. dollars.

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

However, segments that expanded favorably 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, the report said.