Thailand: Merchandise exports rise at a milder pace in August
September 24, 2021
Merchandise exports rose 8.9% annually in August, slowing notably from July’s 20.3% growth. August’s outturn marked the weakest expansion since March as the strong base effect boosting Q2’s figures gradually subsides. Meanwhile, merchandise imports soared 47.9% in annual terms in August (July: +45.9% yoy).
As a result, the merchandise trade balance deteriorated from the previous month, recording a USD 1.2 billion shortfall in August (July 2021: USD 0.2 billion surplus; August 2020: USD 4.5 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend deteriorated, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 7.4 billion surplus in August, compared to the USD 13.1 billion surplus in July.
Looking ahead, as the worldwide recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic continues and vaccination rates accelerate, exports are set to gain momentum on the back of improved foreign demand. That said, the surge in Covid-19 cases through April–September, a relatively slow vaccine rollout and political challenges at home all pose risks to the outlook.
Author: Stephen Vogado, Economist