A group of Thai shippers are feeling more optimistic about export prospects this year after shipments increased for the sixth consecutive month in August.
Chaichan Chareonsuk, chairman of the National Shippers Council of Thailand (TNSC), said on Tuesday that the group is maintaining its forecast for Thai export growth of 12% this year to $ 260 billion.
Positive factors include an economic recovery and growing demand from major trading partners such as the United States, China, the EU and Japan, while advances in mass vaccination have led to greater public confidence. in the world in the resumption of economic activities, he said.
Mr Chaichan said the index of global purchasing managers of major trading partners remained stable at 50 to 60 points, reflecting a strong recovery in manufacturing activities and the global economy.
More importantly, the weakness of the baht against the US dollar helps exports tremendously, he said.
However, hurdles persist in 2021, including a stubborn pandemic in Thailand and slow vaccine distribution, Chaichan said.
“Although the total number of people infected in the country has decreased, the number of infections in the provinces has started to increase and the rate of vaccine distribution is not yet widespread, especially in industrial areas,” he said. he declared.
The TNSC has proposed to the government to speed up the vaccinations of workers in the manufacturing industry and to subsidize the expenses of factories that have put in place measures of factory quarantine or isolation of factory premises, as well as to provide antigen test kits.
Other significant risk factors, Mr. Chaichan said, are high freight rates, especially for routes to the EU and US, and a shortage of containers, shipping space and raw materials. such as chips and steel.
The Commerce Ministry announced on September 24 that customs cleared exports rose 8.39 percent year-on-year in August to $ 22 billion, with imports rising 47.9 percent to $ 23.2 billion, leading to a trade deficit of $ 1.22 billion.
It was the sixth consecutive monthly increase in exports, after gains of 20.3% in July, 43.8% in June, 41.6% in May, 13.1% in April and 8.47% in March, after a contraction of 2.59% in February. Real sector exports (excluding gold, petroleum products and armaments) continued to grow 19.4% in August year-on-year.