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Thailand Trade February 2020

Thailand: Exports shrink in February

Thai exports dropped 4.5% year-on-year in February, swinging from January’s 3.3% increase, likely influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic depressing globe trade and economic activity. The print, moreover, reflected lower exports of cars; polymers of ethylene and propylene; chemical products; electronic integrated circuits; and iron and steel. This more than offset strong growth in precious stones and jewelry.

Imports, meanwhile, fell 4.3% over a year ago, up from the 7.9% contraction in January. As imports continued to plunge, the trade balance swung from a USD 1.6 billion deficit in January to a USD 3.9 billion surplus in February; on a 12-month rolling basis, however, the trade surplus narrowed from USD 12.0 billion to USD 11.8 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.

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