Thailand's June exports at 11-year high

Friday, July 23, 2021

Thailand's export growth in June hit its highest level in 11 years as global demand increased - a trend which is expected to continue, the commerce minister said on Friday, Reuters reports.

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

Shipments have been the only bright spot in the Southeast Asian country as it struggles with its worst coronavirus outbreak to date and the collapse of vital tourism.

"Exports will continue to drive the economy in the second half of the year," Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit told a 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 labor shortages caused by the outbreak as among the negative factors.

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

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

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

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

In the first half of 2021, exports grew by 15.53 percent from a year earlier, while imports gained by 26.15 percent, resulting in a trade surplus of US$2.44 billion in the period.