Thailand April exports post 2nd-month y/y drop on weak global demand
BANGKOK, NNA - Thai exports in April fell from year-earlier levels for the second consecutive month amid the U.S.-China trade dispute, Commerce Ministry data released Wednesday showed.
The recent uptick in exports to the U.S. market was not strong enough to offset falling shipments to China.
―― Overall exports slipped 2.6 percent in April from a year earlier to $18.55 billion, after falling 4.9 percent in March. In the first four months of the year, Thai exports dropped 1.9 percent to $80.54 billion. The director-general of the ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office, Pimchanok Vonkorpon, said the decline was due to slower global growth.
―― Shipments to the United States rose 4.7 percent to $2.14 billion after falling 1.4 percent in the previous month. Exports to the U.S. grew gradually last year and showed a more pronounced uptick in January-March from the previous quarter.
―― By contrast, exports to China dipped 5 percent to $2.44 billion for the sixth straight month of y/y drops, after decreasing 9 percent in March. Exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations edged up 0.9 percent to $4.93 billion following a 9-percent drop.
―― By product, shipments of rice tumbled 20.2 percent to $365 million, while exports of rubber fell 32.1 percent to $323 million. Exports of electronic products and parts fell 8.2 percent to $2.56 billion and vehicles and auto parts dropped 2.4 percent to $2.48 billion.
―― Imports dipped 0.7 percent to $20.01 billion from a year earlier, marking the third consecutive month of declines. In January-April, imports slipped 1.1 percent to $79.99 billion.
―― Despite recent weaker data, the Commerce Ministry still sees Thai exports growing 8 percent this year.
――Asked whether the U.S. move to ban China’s Huawei Technologies Co. will impact Thailand’s exports, Pimchanok said a direct negative impact could be felt in the short term but would be limited because there are only a few Thai producers in Huawei’s supply chain.