June exports at 11 year high as global demand rebounds

June exports at 11 year high as global demand rebounds

Jurin: Factory closures, labour shortages risk factors

Ships berthed at Klong Toey port in Bangkok. Thailand's exports surged to the highest level in 11 years in June. (Photo: Reuters)
Ships berthed at Klong Toey port in Bangkok. Thailand's exports surged to the highest level in 11 years in June. (Photo: Reuters)

Exports in June grew at the highest level in 11 years as global demand increased, a trend which is expected to continue, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said on Friday.

Exports, a key driver of growth, rose by a stronger-than-expected 43.82% in June from a year earlier, beating a forecast rise of 39% in a Reuters poll, and against May's 41.6% increase.

Shipments have been the only bright spot as the Thai economy struggles with its worst coronavirus outbreak to date and the collapse of tourism.

"Exports will continue to drive the economy in the second half of the year," Mr Jurin said during his briefing.

"But along the way, there may be obstacles that need to be tackled by the government and private sectors," he added, citing factory closures and labour shortages caused by the outbreak as among the negative factors.

The Commerce Ministry will seek government support, including more vaccinations, for the manufacturing sector to maintain export orders to meet global demand, Mr Jurin said.

In June, export gains were led by a 78.5% year-on-year jump in vehicle and auto parts shipments and a 21.6% rise in computers and parts.

Demand from key markets was higher in June, with exports to the United States up 41% year-on-year, to China up 42%, to Japan up 32% and to European Union up 47%.

Imports in June jumped 53.75% from a year earlier, beating a forecast 46.3% rise, resulting in a trade surplus of US$945 million for the month.

In the first half of 2021, exports rose 15.53% from a year earlier, while imports rose 26.15%, resulting in a trade surplus of $2.44 billion in the period.

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