Thailand: Trade balance swings into red in January
The external sector got off to a false start in the new year, with the trade balance swinging from a USD 1.1 billion surplus in December to a USD 4.0 billion deficit in January. The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance consequently fell from as USD 3.3 billion surplus in December to a USD 709 million shortfall in January.
January’s result reflects a steep 5.6% drop in exports, larger than December’s 1.7% contraction. The drop in exports came on the back of less outbound shipments of most goods. The strongest drops were recorded in exports of internal combustion engines, precious stones and jewelry and rubber. Simultaneously, import growth swung from an 8.1% contraction in December to a 14.0% rise in January.