EXPORT VALUE IN January grew by 8.8 per cent to US$17.09 billion (Bt595.8 billion), after higher oil prices resulted in more revenue from oil by-products, according to the Commerce Ministry.
The ministry yesterday reported that the value of January imports rose by 5.17 per cent to $16.27 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $826 million.
With stronger export growth for three consecutive months, the min?istry remains upbeat that full-year export value will grow by 5 per cent to $226.09 billion, its working target for this year.
Pimchanok Vonkorpon, director-general of the Commerce Ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office, said that as 22 per cent of Thai export value was from products made from petro?leum, higher global oil prices were having a positive effect.
She said her office expected the global oil price to rise to between $50 and $60 per barrel this year, while the baht will average 35.5-37.5 against the US dollar.
However, there remain some con?cerning factors that could affect glob?al and Thai trade this year, including new US policies that could erect bar?riers to global trading, uncertainties over political changes in European countries, and risk arising from the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union. Those factors could destabilise exchange rates and shake up global trading and invest?ment.
To achieve the ministry’s 5-per-cent export-growth target this year, Thailand each month needs to achieve export value of $18.84 billion. For the previous 3.5-per-cent export-growth goal to $222.86 billion, Thailand would need monthly export value of $18.57 billion.
Last month, exports of agriculture products rose by 9.7 per cent, mainly contributed by rubber, canned and frozen fruits, and processed chicken. However, export of rice, tapioca and frozen shrimp decreased.
Export of agro-industrial products increased by 4.7 per cent last month, driven mainly by canned and processed seafood, while sugar exports were down. Industrial export rose 7.6 per cent in January, especial?ly gold, computers and parts, electri?cal circuits, fuel, automobiles and parts, and rubber products.
Exports to every market rose strongly last month, particularly |to the EU by 10.4 per cent, to China 30.8 per cent, to South Asia 24 per cent, to the US 9.5 per cent, to |Japan 6.4 per cent, to Latin America 9.8 per cent, and to CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) 6.4 per cent.