Q2 exports seen flat as orders slow amid Ukraine crisis

Q2 exports seen flat as orders slow amid Ukraine crisis

Exports may be flat in the second quarter, rather than rise 5% as previously expected, due to the broader impact of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the national shippers' council said on Tuesday.

Overall export orders could drop by $4 billion to $5 billion in the June quarter, Chaichan Chareonsuk, chairman of the Thai National Shippers' Council, told a news conference.

"We are starting to see some negative signs, likely a slowdown in export orders," he said.

Exports in the first quarter should grow 7-8% year-on-year due to pre-confirmed orders, he said, noting shipments may still rise 5% in the whole of 2022 if the Ukraine crisis was resolved within three months. Exports rose 17% last year.

Exports to Russia and Ukraine are very small, representing just 0.38% and 0.05% of total exports last year, respectively.

Given high volatility in global financial markets, the group urged the central bank to keep the baht in a range of 32.5-33.5 per dollar, Mr Chaichan said.

In January, exports rose 8% year-on-year, the slowest pace in 11 months, and much slower than a forecast rise of 19.6% in a Reuters poll and December's 24.2% jump, customs data showed.

While shipments of electronics increased in January, exports of pick-up trucks and gloves fell sharply and there were no exports of live pigs in the month due to a swine flu outbreak.

Imports rose 20.5% in January from a year earlier, with a trade deficit of $2.5 billion in the month.

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