Thailand: Trade deficit recorded in April
At the opening of the second quarter, Thailand’s external sector recorded its second trade deficit of the year, with imports growing at a stronger pace than exports. In April, the trade balance recorded a deficit of USD 1.3 billion, in sharp contrast to the prior month’s USD 1.3 billion surplus. In the same month a year ago, Thailand recorded a small surplus of USD 50 million. In addition, the 12-month sum of the trade balance fell from USD 11.8 billion in March to USD 10.5 billion in April.
The trade deficit came amid stronger-than-expected export growth as exports expanded 12.3% year-on-year, above the 11.3% figure markets had expected and markedly above the prior month’s 7.1% expansion. The pick-up in exports came on the back of increased foreign demand for cars, equipment and components; and computer equipment and components. There was also robust demand for rubber products, as well as for gems and jewelry. Most of the foreign demand came from China, the United States and Japan. Imports, meanwhile, grew at a quicker pace of 20.4% in the month (March: +9.5% year-on-year).