Thailand consolidated its position as the top global condom exporter in 2022, a year when its biggest buyer China coincidentally reported its first drop in population in six decades.
The Southeast Asian nation, which is the world’s largest natural rubber producer, shipped condoms worth US$272.3 million last year, according to data from the Commerce Ministry. Along with China, the US and Vietnam made up the top three importers of Thai made contraceptives.
Thailand holds the highest share in global condom exports, accounting for 44% of the world market, up from 43.7% a year earlier, the data showed. The nation also dominated durian exports, shipping $3.22 billion worth of the fruits last year and accounting for 93.3% of global market.
Despite its leading position, rubber and related articles and fruit exports form less than 10% of total exports, which is equivalent to more than half the Thai economy. The government expects a hit to outbound commerce this year amid slowing global demand, with exports in March dropping 4.2% from a year earlier.
Thai share of durian exports dropped by a tad from 2021 after Vietnam got approval to send durians to China, Thailand’s biggest buyer.
“Exporters need to be on alert as we are losing market share,” said Poonpong Naiyanapakorn, director-general of the ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office. “We need to diversify our risk from relying too much on China.”