Thailand’s export figures for May revealed a persistent downturn as global economic uncertainty impacted trade, according to official data released on Tuesday. The country’s exports, a crucial driver of its economic growth, declined by 4.6 percent in May compared to the same period last year, reaching a value of $24.34 billion. This follows a 7.6 percent year-on-year drop in April, as reported by the Ministry of Commerce.
Despite indications of recovery in the global manufacturing sector following disruptions in production chains, the Ministry noted that new export orders did not show significant growth due to the strict monetary policies of trading partners. The data breakdown revealed a contrasting trend, with exports of industrial products experiencing a modest increase of 1.5 percent in May compared to the previous year, marking the first growth in eight months. However, shipments of agricultural and agro-industrial products faced a decline of 16.3 percent year-on-year, marking the first contraction in four months.
Thailand’s imports also witnessed a decline of 3.4 percent year-on-year, amounting to $26.19 billion in May, with the drop narrowing from the previous month’s 7.3 percent. Consequently, the country recorded a trade deficit of $1.84 billion.
In the first five months of the year, Thailand’s exports decreased by 5.1 percent compared to the same period in the previous year, while imports fell by 2.5 percent. This resulted in a trade deficit of $6.36 billion, according to the Ministry’s data.
Despite the challenging circumstances, the Ministry maintained its export growth target of 1 to 2 percent for the entirety of this year.