Exports remain vibrant helped by weaker Baht, Jurin cautions as global economy in on tailspin

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Thailand’s export continued to show robust growth in June, despite the adverse global economic environment, with the latest data released by the Ministry of Commerce showing an export expansion of 11.9%.

The Ministry of Commerce announced that it will continue to maintain its target of a 5% rise in the exports from those seen in 2021 despite the 6-months data showing that exports were rising at double digit at 12.7% year-on-year.

“Even though exports have expanded by 12.7% in the first half of 2022, the ministry saw no need to revise the export target for this year because the ministry has been pushing for this,” said Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit.

“Right now, the current exports have already tripled our target of 4-5% for this year,” he said.

According to the ministry, exports expanded by 11.9% year-on-year with a value of US$ 26.55 billion in June. The expansion was higher than the market expectation of 10.5%.

When excluding the exports of commodities, exports expanded 10.4% to $ 23.49 billion in June.

The country’s trade deficit stood at US$6.26 billion for the 6-months ending June 2022 and for the month of June alone it was a deficit of US$1.53 billion.

For the first 6-months of 2022, exports expanded by 12.7% year-on-year to $ 149.18 billion. When excluding the exports of commodities, exports expanded by 9% for the first half.

Imports also expanded by 24.5% to $ 28.08 in June. For the first 6-months of 2022, imports expanded by 21% year-on-year to $ 149.18 billion.

This is contributing to a trade deficit of $ 1.53 billion in June and $ 6.26 billion for the first half of 2022, compared to a surplus of $ 3.85 billion during the first half of 2021.

Jurin said exports in June was boosted by new markets, the utilization of free trade agreements, the increasing global demand for food, the expansion of the manufacturing sector worldwide and the wakened baht.

The Thai Baht was trading at 36.81 Baht per greenback on Wednesday afternoon, compared to around 33 Baht per greenback at the beginning of the year.

Jurin said current concerns over Thai exports includes a possible decline of major trading partners’ economies and the ministry is already stepping up its efforts to find new markets to compensate this prospect.

The International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday that higher-than-expected inflation worldwide is hampering global economic growth and they have lowered their global GDP projection from 3.6% in its April prediction down to the current 3.2%.

They have also revised down the US, the Eurozone and China growth forecasts for 2022 from 3.7%, 2.8% and 4.4% down to 2.3%, 2.6% and 3.3% respectively. All three are major trading partners of Thailand.

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