The manufacturing production index rose for the sixth consecutive month in February on eased Covid-19 controls and higher demand for Thai exports, according to the Industry Ministry.
Thongchai Chawalitpichaet, director-general of the ministry's Office of Industrial Economics, said on Wednesday that last month MPI stood at 102.00, up 2.75% year-on-year, and marked the sixth consecutive month of its increase since last September. The index went up 2.38% on average in the first two months of this year.
In February capacity utilisation was at 64.8%, down from 65.69% in January. The figure was at 65.25% on average in the first two months of 2022.
Mr Thongchai said positive factors for manufacturing were eased disease control measures, country reopening and more orders for Thai exports. He said the value of exports expanded by 16.2% year-on-year in February, and has increased for 12 months in a row.
The Russia-Ukraine crisis did not affect business operators in February because international sanctions against Russia began late last month.
In February the industries that were substantially more active included petroleum production, which rose by 15.88% year-on-year mainly on higher demand for high-speed diesel and aircraft fuel due to eased disease controls and the resumption of the Test & Go entry scheme.
Meanwhile, beer production soared by 40.94% as Covid-19 controls were relaxed and dealers were building up their stocks in the lead-up to the Songkran holiday next month.
Garment production rose by 23.26% and included sportswear, T-shirts and underwear, thanks to rising exports to recovering economies in Asia, Europe and America.
The Office of Industrial Economics predicted the MPI would rise by 3.5-4.5% and gross domestic product in the industrial sector would expand by 2.2-3.2% this year.