Sur­prise rise in Thai Fe­bru­ary ex­ports

The Pak Banker - - 6BUSINESS -

BANGKOK: Thai­land re­ported that ex­ports grew in Fe­bru­ary for the first time in 14 months, thanks to two un­usual items - he­li­copters and an eight-fold in­crease from a month ear­lier for gold ship­ments. In Fe­bru­ary, cus­toms-cleared ex­ports rose 10.27% from a year ear­lier, the Com­merce Min­istry said on Fri­day. A Reuters poll pro­jected a drop of 7.65% fol­low­ing Jan­uary's de­cline of 8.91%.

Im­ports plunged 16.82%, nearly dou­ble the slide seen in a Reuters poll and an in­di­ca­tion that ex­ports - tra­di­tion­ally a growth driver in Thai­land - re­main weak, in spite of the re­ported Fe­bru­ary rise. Many im­ported items are parts as­sem­bled into fin­ished goods and shipped out. Push­ing up Fe­bru­ary ex­ports, in the gov­ern­ment data, were he­li­copters and ve­hi­cles for mil­i­tary drills (US$683 mil­lion) and gold of US$1.89 bil­lion, com­pared with US$237 mil­lion in Jan­uary. Those two items ac­counted for nearly 14% of to­tal ex­ports of US$18.99 bil­lion.

Deputy Com­merce Min­is­ter Su­vit Maesincee said that when he­li­copters/ve­hi­cles and gold are ex­cluded, "nor­mal trade (ex­ports) was down 2%" from a year ear­lier. Pi­mon­wan Mahu­jchariya­wong, an econ­o­mist with Kasikorn Re­search Cen­ter, said the data re­flect one-off gains. "Ex­ports may con­tract for an­other 2-3 months be­fore turn­ing pos­i­tive in the sec­ond half when com­mod­ity prices should start to re­cover," she said.

Ex­ports, equal to more than 60% of Thai out­put, have long been weak, one rea­son why Thai­land's mil­i­tary junta has strug­gled to re­vive South-East Asia's sec­ond-largest econ­omy af­ter tak­ing power in May 2014. Do­mes­tic de­mand, an­other growth driver, has also been slug­gish. On Mon­day, Finance Min­is­ter Apisak Tan­tivo­ra­wong said pre­lim­i­nary data showed ex­ports rose 10% in Fe­bru­ary from a year ear­lier, due mainly to gold ship­ments.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.