“Thai shipments could see positive growth in the remaining three months, which will prevent a contraction in Thai shipments this year. However, among worrying factors are uncertainty in global economy recovery, in particular the European Union, China, and Japan, as well as baht and gold price fluctuation,” said Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general at the International Trade Promotion Department. She said a clearer sign of economic recovery in the United States is the only positive factor encouraging Thai shipments.
Exports in the first nine months of 2014 were still down 0.85 per cent year on year to $1170.45 billion (Bt5.47 trillion). The ministry now accepts that the previous growth projection of 3.5 per cent is unattainable, but there could be some growth, of at least one per cent or less. For full-year growth of 0-0.9 per cent, exports in the last quarter will need to average at least $19.5 billion.
In the first nine months, imports grew by 10 per cent to $171.97 billion (Bt5.58 billion), leading to a trade deficit of $1.51 billion (Bt111.85 billion). Imports grew for the first time in six months, reflecting higher demand in the manufacturing sectors as well as from higher demand for fuel imports from the lower oil price in the global market.
Last month, exports of agro-industrial products rose by 2.8 per cent, but industrial sector exports dropped by 0.4 per cent, and other products jumped 17 per cent.