Thailand: Merchandise export growth slows in April
May 22, 2020
Thai merchandise exports growth moderated to 2.1% year-on-year in April, from March’s 4.2% increase, likely influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic depressing globe trade and economic activity. The slowdown reflected plummeting shipments of cars and refined fuels, which were partly offset by soaring exports of precious stones and jewelry amid sky-high global prices for gold.
Meanwhile, merchandise imports fell 17.1%% over a year ago, down from the 7.3% rise in March. As imports continued to plunge, the trade balance surplus rose from USD 1.6 billion in March to USD 2.5 billion in April. On a 12-month rolling basis, the trade surplus rose to USD 15.1 billion, from March’s USD 11.3 billion.
Exports are expected to take a beating from the Covid-19 pandemic this year and weigh on the overall economy. Moreover, the balance of risks is notably titled to the downside owing to the pandemic, a slowing Chinese economy and the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
Author: Nicolás J. Aguilar, Economist