Cross-border commerce drops 8.5%

Cross-border commerce drops 8.5%

Thailand's cross-border trade fell 8.5% year-on-year in the first seven months, largely due to the closure of border checkpoints to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and the slowing economies of neighbouring countries.

The Foreign Trade Department reported that overall cross-border trade, including transit trade, totalled 741 billion baht for January to July, with Malaysia still the biggest partner by value.

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

Of the total figures, exports were 429 billion baht, down 8.2% year-on-year, while imports shrank 9% to 312 billion baht, resulting in a trade surplus of 116 billion baht.

Border trade with four neighbouring countries amounted to 434 billion baht, down 12.8% year-on-year. Of the total, exports stood at 256 billion baht, down 10.9%, and imports were 178 billion baht, down 15.4%. Thailand had a trade surplus of 78.1 billion baht.

Two-way trade with Malaysia totalled 131 billion baht (down 23.6%), followed by trade with Laos (107 billion baht, down 7.8%), Myanmar (101 billion baht, down 13.6%) and Cambodia (94.8 billion baht, up 1.8%).

Transit trade, mainly with Singapore, Vietnam and southern China, fell 1.7% in the first seven months to 308 billion baht.

Transit trade with southern China and Singapore rose 14.4% and 11.3%, respectively. Transit trade value was 131 billion baht with southern China and 50 billion baht with Singapore.

Transit trade value with Vietnam and other countries fell 21.8% and 15.8% to 34.9 billion and 91.7 billion baht, respectively.

Keerati Rushchano, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said cross-border trade prospects for the remaining months are likely to improve after the department worked with nearby countries to reopen more border checkpoints.

As of Aug 13, Thailand had reopened 40 of the 97 border checkpoints nationwide.

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