Thailand: Exports plunge in November
December 30, 2011
In November, exports plummeted 13.1% over the same month the year before to USD 15.3 billion. The reading came in well below the 0.1% drop recorded in October, marking the sharpest contraction since August 2009 and exceeding market expectations of an 11.0% decline. The November drop reflected halts at several manufacturing firms due to the floods that hit the country last year, resulting in a contraction of shipments of manufacturing goods particularly of electronics. Meanwhile, imports swung from a 20.6% expansion in October to a 1.9% contraction in November. As a result the trade surplus shrunk from USD 1.0 billion in October to USD 218 million. The Commerce Ministry estimates that exports contracted 15% in the final quarter of 2011. Going forward, the Ministry expects a protracted recovery, as many export-oriented firms are still trying to get their manufacturing lines up and running after the flood. The Central Bank expects exports to have expanded 13.6% (previously: +22.4%) in the full year 2011, before slowing to 4.0% growth this year.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist