Thai exports rise nearly one-third in April

Thailand’s exports were up 32.5 per cent year-on-year in April, valued at US$14.09 billion, recording growth for the sixth consecutive month, Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai said.

Despite the violent political turmoil in May, the ministry remains confident that exports in May will be valued at least $14 billion, Ms Porntiva said.

Exports in agriculture and the agro-industrial sector grew by 27.5 per cent but the volume of rice exported was down 16.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, exports of industrial products, such as electrical appliances, vehicles and plastic products increased by more than 20 per cent, the minister said.

Thai exports from January to April were valued at $58.47 billion, up 32.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The exports to the country’s traditional markets in April rose by 21 per cent, while those to new markets grew by 48.4 per cent.

Despite the violent political turmoil in May, the ministry remains confident that exports in May will be valued at least $14 billion, Ms Porntiva said.

Thailand received more than 70 per cent of orders from foreign business partners for the third and fourth quarters and the total export figures this year can reach the ministry’s target, she indicated.

Meanwhile, the commerce ministry has planned to restore customers’ confidence as soon as possible by hosting the “Thailand Best Friend” fair to attract 125 key trade partners from 44 countries for trade negotiation with a value of over $10 billion (Bt350 billion).

In addition, the commerce agency will hold a Thai Food fair at the end of June, aiming to draw potential importers to the fair.

The ministry also asked trade-related associations to explain and inform their foreign partners about the internal political situation and to assure them of stable goods transport on schedule.

Regarding April’s imports, Ms Porntiva said that imports increased 46 per cent, worth $14.35 billion compared to the same period last year.

Increased imports included energy products by 67.6 per cent, capital goods by 45.2 per cent and raw materials by 40.2 per cent.

Imports during the first four months of this year totalled $56.62 billion, up 54.9 per cent year-on-year.

A trade deficit of about $266 million was recorded in April, the first in 16 months, while a trade surplus of $1.84 billion was reported in the first four months of 2010.

Ms Porntiva, however, said that the ministry targeted exports for the whole year at an increase of 14 per cent, valued at $74 billion, as the political turmoil did not affect transport and shipping systems.

News item courtesy of www.mcot.net/EnglishNews

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