Thailand’s exports in April rose at a much slower pace than the previous month and less than expected, coming under the pressure of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s lockdown measures.
Exports – a key driver of Thai growth – increased 9.9% in April from a year earlier, missing a forecast 14.6% rise in a Reuters poll, and against March’s 19.5% jump.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, shipments should continue to rise this year, benefiting from a weak baht and an expected rise in food exports as trade partners sought to ensure food security.
Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit told a news conference that given food export bans in some countries, Thailand was evaluating its products for domestic food sufficiency.
Ministry data showed Thai food exports rose 2.2% in April from a year earlier, while rice shipments jumped 44%.
Jurin noted that rice exports should reach 7-8 million tonnes this year after 6.1 million tonnes last year.
However, shipments to most markets slowed in April, with those to the United States up 13.6% from a year earlier after a 21.5% jump in March. Exports to Russia slumped 77%.
Exports to China dropped 7.2% in April, year-on-year, amid strict lockdown measures.
In April, Thai imports jumped 21.5% from a year earlier, beating a forecast rise of 16.4% in the poll, with a trade deficit of $1.91 billion in the month.
In January-April, exports increased 13.7% from a year earlier while imports rose 19.2%.