Exports unexpectedly rise

Exports unexpectedly rise

Thai exports unexpectedly rose 4.17% year-on-year in March, with a value of US$22.4 billion, the biggest expansion in eight months.

Even excluding gold, oil, and weaponry, exports last month expanded 2.12%, the Commerce Ministry reported on Tuesday.

"Electronic products such as computers and parts dominated the export rebound in the real sector and registered positive growth for a fourth consecutive month. Electronic products showed signs of recovery across major markets such as the United States, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea," said Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office under the Commerce Ministry.

Moreover, exports of agricultural and agro-industrial products such as fruits and vegetables, frozen and processed chicken, sugar and pet food have continuously expanded in response to rising demand in foods and other essential products.

However, lower global oil prices have suppressed exports of oil-related products, which accounted for 8.2% of March's total exports.

For the first quarter of 2020, exports grew 0.9% year-on-year to $62.67 billion. Excluding gold, oil and weaponry, exports were up 1.1%.

In March, shipments of agricultural and agro-industrial products fell 1.1% year-on-year, weighed down by rubber (-24.7%), rice (-13.2%), cassava products (-13.1%) and canned and processed seafood products (-6%).

Other items performed well, including sugar (+17.5%), fresh, frozen and processed fruits and vegetables (+15.8%), fresh, frozen and processed chicken (+7.5%) and pet food (+11.5%).

Exports of industrial products expanded 6.4% in March from the same month last year, with strength in gold (+215.2%), aircraft parts and accessories (+1,129.3%), computers and parts (+17.6%), steel and steel products (+29.5%), air conditioners (+8.1%) and other vehicles and parts (+1,263.2%).

Exports of some products declined, namely automobiles and parts (-28.7%), oil-related products (-17.4%), precious stones and jewellery ex-gold (-25.3%) and electric circuits (-4.3%).

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