Exports seen up 4% this year on rising global demand

Exports seen up 4% this year on rising global demand

The Commerce Ministry projects exports to grow 4% this year. (Photo: Reuters)
The Commerce Ministry projects exports to grow 4% this year. (Photo: Reuters)

Exports are expected to rise 4% in 2021 after declining 6% last year, while an unexpected increase in shipments was recorded in December as demand from major markets improved, the Commerce Ministry said on Friday.

Exports, a key driver of growth, will this year be supported by a recovery in global demand, vaccine distribution and stimulus measures in several countries, the ministry said in a statement.

Shipments rose for the first time in eight months in December, up 4.71% from a year earlier, the fastest growth rate in 22 months, the ministry said. A Reuters poll forecast a fall of 2.4% in exports.

"The December exports showed a good sign," Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office, told a briefing, adding shipments of durable goods rose and global demand increased, which reflected a recovery in the real economic sector.

The export gains were helped by higher shipments of cars and car parts, computers and rubber products. Excluding gold, exports would rise 5.04% in December.

Demand from key markets was mostly higher, with exports to the United States up 15.7% year-on-year and to China up 7.2%.

However, exports may not rise much in the first quarter because of last year's comparative base but should show a good recovery for the full year, Ms Pimchanok said.

Imports in December increased 3.62% from a year earlier, but slumped 12.39% in the whole of 2020.

Thailand had a trade surplus of US$960 million in December and $24.5 billion in the full year.

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