Thailand's exports rise unexpectedly

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Thailand's export data has proved far better than expected.

Customs-cleared exports from Thailand registered a surprise rise last month, according to new data released by the Bank of Thailand and the commerce ministry.

The figures showed a 4.28 per cent year-on-year increase in July, the first time a gain has been registered for five months and a significant improvement on the 2.15 per cent decline witnessed in June.

This came despite a Reuters poll having forecast a 2.3 per cent drop in shipments that would then go on to impact exports.

Analysts attributed this sudden display of positivity to gold exports, with shipments having soared by a staggering 407 per cent year-on-year in July.

Indeed, were gold taken out of the equation, overall exports would have declined by 0.4 per cent, the data showed.

Other factors behind the rise were shipments to China, the US and Japan having increased by 6.2 per cent, 9.8 per cent and eight per cent respectively.

Looking at data from individual industries in Thailand, shipments of agricultural and agro-industrial products returned to growth of 1.4 per cent following a nine per cent decrease in June, while fruit, rubber, cassava products and shrimp also performed particularly well.

Meanwhile, imports also increased by 1.67 per cent in July compared to a year earlier, despite a predicted fall of 5.4 per cent.

Looking at the bigger picture for the months including January to July 2019, exports had contracted by 1.91 per cent and imports were down 1.81 per cent.

The commerce ministry has now said it is targeting an export growth of three per cent for the year as a whole, although analysts from the state planning agency suggest a 1.2 per cent decline may be more accurate.

Thailand has been experiencing a slowdown in exports in recent months, which has been having an impact on its GDP. The figure reached its slowest rate in almost five years during the second quarter of the year, according to the government, prompting the central bank to cut the lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point.