Thailand: Merchandise exports increase in September
Merchandise exports grew 17.1% on an annual basis in September, accelerating from August’s 8.9% year-on-year rise and reversing the recent downward trend in exports growth. Meanwhile, merchandise imports rose 30.3% on an annual basis in September (August: +47.9% yoy), marking the eighth month of double-digit growth.
As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 0.6 billion surplus in September (August 2021: USD 1.2 billion deficit; September 2020: USD 2.5 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed down, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 5.5 billion surplus in September, compared to the USD 7.4 billion surplus in August.
Looking ahead, as the worldwide recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic continues, vaccination rates accelerate and international travel resumes, exports are set to gain momentum on the back of improved foreign demand. That said, elevated Covid-19 cases through October and domestic political challenges pose risks to the outlook.