Exports shrink in Oct but govt remains hopeful

Exports shrink in Oct but govt remains hopeful

Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office
Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office

Thai exports saw a wider contraction in October, with the rate dropping by 6.71% from the same month of last year after September's reading registered a drop of only 3.9% year-on-year.

The Commerce Ministry reported on Monday that the country’s customs-cleared exports fetched US$19.38 billion in October, with imports shrinking 14.32% to $17.33 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $2.04 billion. For the first 10 months of 2020, Thai exports contracted 7.26% to $192.37 billion while imports dropped 14.61% to $169.70 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of 22.67 billion.

According to Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office under the Commerce Ministry, Thai exports to major markets tend to recover in broad areas. Export values in many markets grew more quickly in October, reflecting a gradual demand recovery of trading partners after relaxing pandemic control measures and injecting economic stimulus packages earlier. This aligns with global economic momentum that is beginning to show further signs of recovery, she said.

Exports to the major markets expanded by 4.8% led by those to the US markets which rose by 17.0% from October last year. However, exports to Japan and the EU contracted by 0.4% and 5.3% respectively. Exports to South Asia markets rebounded to a 15.6% expansion, with those to Australia and Latin America markets also bouncing back to growth of 4.2% and 12.9% respectively.

Ms Pimchanok said Thai exports have continued a recovery trend and many products are competitive in several markets. The US unofficial election results and Covid-19 vaccine development suggest positive signals for world trade. After Covid-19, Thailand should develop and promote value-added products in order to increase export values and the competitiveness of Thai products in the long term, she recommended.

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