Export target likely to exceed 4% after Q1 bump
The Commerce Ministry plans to upgrade its export growth forecast to more than 4% after Thai export value in March recorded 8.47% growth, driven by intensive economic stimulus policies in trading countries, worldwide vaccinations and higher crude oil prices.
Thai exports were above US$20 billion for two consecutive months, with value in March rising to $24.2 billion, according to the Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO).
"Thai exports are likely to grow more than 4% this year after the growth in the first quarter," said TPSO chief Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit.
In the first quarter, Thai exports grew by 2.27% to $64.2 billion, while imports rose by 9.37% to $63.6 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $516 million.
Exports from the real sector, excluding gold, oil and weaponry, soared by 12% in March and 7.61% in the first quarter.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksa- nawisit plans to meet with companies to evaluate economic prospects in Thailand's trading partners.
One factor leading to the higher export target is the robust recovery of the global manufacturing sector, which supports the growth of Thai industrial product exports. The Global Manufacturing PMI was 55.0, a 10-year high.
"If export growth rises to 6-7%, export value should average $21-23 billion per month, increasing from $19.6 billion, for 4% growth," said Mr Phusit.
The Bank of Thailand previously projected Thai export growth at 10% this year, while the National Economic and Social Development Council put it at 5.8%.
The Commerce Ministry wants to monitor three issues that may affect Thai exports: the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, protests in Myanmar and higher transport costs.
Visit Limlurcha, president of the Thai Food Processors Association, said the third wave has yet to affect food exports because the government has not enforced lockdown measures.