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Thai Exports Experience 6.2% Contraction in July, Overshooting Market Predictions; Optimism Awaits Q4 Recovery

The Ministry of Commerce’s Permanent Secretary has unveiled Thailand’s international trade landscape for July, shedding light on the trajectory of the country’s exports. In a report, it was revealed that the value of Thai exports sustained a 6.2% contraction from the prior year, amounting to $22,143.2 million. This decline aligns with market projections, although it surpasses the anticipated range of -2.8% to -3.1%.Imports, meanwhile, totaled $24.121 million, reflecting an 11.1% dip from the corresponding period in the preceding year. Consequently, Thailand encountered a trade deficit of $1,977.8 million in July.

In the broader scope of the year’s first seven months (January to July), the report underlines that exports summed up to $163,313.5 million, witnessing a 5.5% contraction compared to the same timeframe last year. Imports, during this duration, tallied up to $171,598.9 million, marking a 4.7% reduction from the equivalent period in the previous year. Consequently, Thailand’s trade deficit for these initial seven months amounts to $8,285.3 million.

The Permanent Secretary elaborated on the export dynamics in July, highlighting that every product category observed a decline when compared to the corresponding month in the previous year. Among these categories, the agricultural products group experienced a 7.7% drop in export value, marking its third consecutive month of contraction. However, some products within this group managed to sustain robust expansion.

The agro-industrial product group posted an export value decline of 11.8%, its fourth consecutive month of contraction, albeit with several products displaying encouraging growth. The industrial products group recorded a 3.4% reduction in export value, marking its second consecutive month of contraction.

However, delving into specific markets reveals some bright spots. Among the top 10 export markets for Thailand, notable growth was observed in the following: Switzerland (64.9%), Saudi Arabia (63.1%), Africa (43.3%), Russia (33.8%), Mexico (32.4%), Laos (11.8%), Hong Kong (9.7%), the United Kingdom (5.8%), Australia (2.7%), and the United States (0.9%).

The Permanent Secretary emphasized that the 6.2% negative growth in Thai exports during July is primarily attributed to the high base established in the same month of the previous year when exports reached $23,613 million. In comparison, the value of exports in July 2023, totaling $22,143 million, remains relatively robust.

Considering the broader global context, the performance of Thai exports is relatively favorable, taking into account multiple external uncertainties such as the global economic slowdown, developments in the Chinese economy, and international political challenges. While the current figures indicate a contraction, the anticipation of a positive turnaround in the fourth quarter reflects optimism within Thailand’s trade landscape.

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