Thailand: Strong currency hurts Thai exports in August
Exports contracted 4.0% year-on-year in August, swinging from a 4.3% increase in July and worse than the 2.0% fall expected by market analysts. The drop in exports comes amid a strong baht harming demand for Thai goods and a decrease in 13 out of the 15 export categories. However, there was a strong increase in precious stones and jewelry, and fresh, frozen and dried fruit exports. Imports, meanwhile, nosedived 14.6% in August and contrasted the 1.7% rise in July.
Despite lower exports in August, plunging imports led the trade balance to swing from a deficit of USD 0.5 billion in August 2018 to a surplus of USD 2.1 billion (July 2019: USD 0.1 billion). The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance jumped to a USD 7.0 billion surplus from a USD 4.5 billion surplus in July.