July exports rise - except to US

July exports rise - except to US

Honda cars await shipment at Laem Chabang port in February 2016. (Photo supplied by Honda Automobile Thailand)
Honda cars await shipment at Laem Chabang port in February 2016. (Photo supplied by Honda Automobile Thailand)

Exports were valued at US$20.42 billion in July, up 8.27% year-on-year, on rising orders from Japan, Europe, India and the Asean region, but the figure for the United States dropped for the first time in almost two years.

Sureeporn Sahawat, deputy director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office, said on Wednesday that the value of exports rose for the 17th consecutive month in July, resulting a combined value of $146.24 billion in the first seven months of this year, up 10.57% - the highest in seven years.

Imports in July amounted to $20.94 billion, up 10.53% year-on-year, resulting in a trade deficit of $516 million baht.

Imports in the first seven months were valued at $143.29 billion, up 14.84%, and the country posted an accumulated trade surplus of $2.94 billion.

Mrs Sureeporn said exports to major markets rose by 5.4% in July, including a jump of 11.7% to Japan and 9% to the European Union. Exports to emerging markets expanded by 15.3% - including 15% to India, 22.6% to the Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam group, 26.6% to the remaining five Asean countries, and 3.5% in China.

Industrial exports increased for the 17th consecutive month - at a rate of 7.7% in July - driven by automobiles and parts, computers and parts, and internal combustion engines and parts.

Agricultural exports increased by 3.2%, led by sugar, frozen and processed chicken, canned tuna and beverages.

Exports to the US, however, dropped by 1.9% in July - the first decrease in 21 months.

Mrs Sureeporn said.that America-bound prawn exports fell 62% due to a shortage of raw materials; canned seafood 23%; televisions 44% due to changing consumer behaviour; solar cells 72%; washing machines 21.9%; and steel 4.6% due to higher US tariffs. 

She added that overall Thai exports should rsie 8% this year as expected, with strong growth in shipments of technological and electronic products, automobiles and oil-related products like chemical products and plastics.

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