The Thailand Prime Minister urged related agencies to continue promoting growth in the export sector this year. Shippers are expecting a higher value of maritime cargo due to the easing of the global cargo shortage.
Deputy Government Spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul said Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had asked related agencies to maintain the positive momentum of the export sector. Thailand’s export sector is benefiting from the economic recovery of partner countries, and the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which came into effect on 1 January this year.
Maritime shipments have been seeing positive signs from increasing shipping activities. According to the Port Authority of Thailand, shipment value at Laem Chabang Port and Bangkok Port in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2022 saw 3,721 calls from cargo vessels, a 13.1% increase, with a total of 14.6 million tons of cargo processed through these facilities.
The number of shipping containers passing through these ports during the same period was marked at 2.44 million TEU, a 5.78% increase.
The port authority now expects maritime export this year to grow 4%, according to the growing shipment volume, and the easing of the global container shortage.
According to the Commerce Ministry’s report on Jan 21, Thailand’s customs-cleared exports expanded by 17.1% in 2021 to hit $271 billion, while imports rose by 29.8% to $268 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $3.57 billion.
The ministry predicts the country’s exports will grow 3-4% this year to $270-282 billion, or 9.08-9.16 trillion baht.
Supporting factors include trading partners’ improving economies and import expansion; depreciation of the baht in the first half of the year; an increase in food production and manufacturing raw material prices as demand recovers; an expected uptick in containers and vessels in mid-2022; and less severe Covid-19 symptoms, with the virus becoming endemic.