May factory output falls 3.99% y-o-y, worse than forecast

May factory output falls 3.99% y-o-y, worse than forecast

Carlos Ghosn, chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi, visits the Mitsubishi plant in Chon Buri's Laem Chabang on April 26, 2017. (Photo supplied)
Carlos Ghosn, chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi, visits the Mitsubishi plant in Chon Buri's Laem Chabang on April 26, 2017. (Photo supplied)

Thailand's manufacturing production index (MPI) in May dropped 3.99% from a year earlier, dragged by lower production of cars and rubber products, the Industry Ministry said on Tuesday.

That compares with a forecast fall of 0.1% in a Reuters poll, and against April's 2.03% gain.

Capacity utilisation was at 67.72% in May, compared with 63.89% in April. April had fewer work days due to holidays.

Office of Industrial Economics (OIE) director general Nattapol Rangsitpol said the MPI has been affected by the escalating US-China trade war.

From November 2018 to April 2019, global trade shrank by 1.01%, and Thailand's MPI dropped by 0.63%, he said, but the MPI in May actually rose month-on-month by 8.63%.

That rise was was largely due to the April holidays. 

The latest figures showed Industrial sectors such as chemical fertiliser, cars & engines, rubber, jewellery and hard disk drives were particularly hard-hit. 

"Another factor was bearish demand from local consumers and overseas purchasing orders," he said. 

Some sectors continued to perform well, including air-conditioners, palm oil, alcohol & non-alcoholic drinks and steel. 

The OIE expects the MPI to rise 2-3% this year, after a 2.8% rise in 2018.


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