Thailand: Exports drop again in June, but trade surplus widens
The Thai trade balance recorded a surplus of USD 3.2 billion in June (June 2018: USD 1.8 billion surplus), despite a contraction in exports as imports fell at a steeper pace. The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance jumped to a USD 4.0 billion surplus from the USD 2.6 billion surplus in May.
Exports fell 2.1% year-on-year in June, improving from the 6.2% drop in May. The contraction in June came on the back broad-based declines across categories. Most categories recorded a decrease in shipments, with particular noticeable contractions in demand for automatic data processing machines and parts; motor cars, parts and accessories; rubber products; and polymers of ethylene and propylene. A more than doubling in exports of precious stones and jewelry cushioned the contraction in exports somewhat. Imports, meanwhile, dropped a whopping 9.4% year-on-year in June, markedly worse than the 0.7% contraction in May.