Thailand: Exports accelerate at fastest pace in more than year
August 31, 2011
Exports accelerated in July, boosted by increasing demand for agricultural products and a recovery in automobile shipments to Japan. In July, exports expanded 36.4% over the same month last year. The expansion, which represented the fastest pace since June 2010, was above the 16.4% increase tallied in June and broadly in line with market expectations of a 37.4% increase. The main driver behind the July expansion was stronger shipments of agricultural exports (+53.5% year on-year). Meanwhile, exports of automobile and automobile parts continued to recover and grew 15.6%. Overseas sales to Japan ? Thailand's largest trading partner ? rose 23.0%, as the country recovers from the impact of the 11 March disasters. Meanwhile, imports slowed from a 23.5% increase in June to a 13.1% expansion in July, pushing the trade balance to a surplus of USD 2.7 billion, which was above the USD 1.9 billion observed in June. Despite the fact that the faltering U.S. and European economies are clouding the export outlook, the Central Bank expects Thailand's overseas shipments will to expand 22.4% this year before slowing to 12.4% in 2012.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist