Cross-border activity slips to start year

Cross-border activity slips to start year

Exports to Cambodia still a bright spot

Thailand's cross-border trade fell by 6.5% year-on-year in the first two months of 2020 as the spreading coronavirus snarled the global economy and logistics systems, particularly in southern China.

The Foreign Trade Department on Tuesday said the country's overall cross-border trade, including transit trade, totalled 171.31 billion baht in January and February, with Malaysia the biggest partner for border trade.

Transit trade involves the passage of goods through more than one country.

Of the total figures, exports from Thailand totalled 117.94 billion baht, down 6.1% from the first two months of last year, with imports shrinking 7.3% to 53.36 billion baht, resulting in a trade surplus of 64.57 billion baht.

Thailand's border trade with four neighbouring countries amounted to 129.98 billion baht, down 4.5% from the same period last year.

Of the total, two-way trade with Malaysia totalled 62.80 billion baht, followed by trade with Laos (43.71 billion baht), Cambodia (33.90 billion baht) and Myanmar (30.88 billion baht).

The department said transit trade with Singapore, Vietnam and southern China plunged 18.3% in the two-month period, totalling 33.24 billion baht.

Transit trade to Singapore fetched the greatest value at 14.08 billion baht, followed by southern China (12.25 billion baht) and Vietnam (6.89 billion baht).

Keerati Rushchano, director-general of the department, said export value to Cambodia saw continued growth of 15.3% in the first two months despite the deadly virus. Higher shipments were led by non-alcoholic drinks, automobiles and parts, and livestock.

Shipments to Laos rose by 2.7% in the period, especially for computers, non-alcoholic drinks and diesel, while exports to Myanmar eked out growth of 0.06%, led by diesel, non-alcoholic drinks and fabric.

Mr Keerati said the department will put off the border trade fair in Sa Kaeo scheduled for March 28-31 on coronavirus concerns.

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