Exports rose in all categories, particularly agricultural and agro-industrial products, which increased by 53.5 per cent – such as rubber up by 69.3 per cent and rice 110.6 per cent.
Similarly industrial goods rose 34.9 per cent, particularly jewellery and ornaments, which expanded by 302 per cent resulting from rising gold prices that caused the value of gold exports to grow by 3,919 per cent.
Exports in the first seven months of this year were valued at B4185 billion ($139.5 billion), an increase of 25.7 per cent, compared to the same period last year.
All groups of export markets expanded with 21.4 per cent growth of the matured markets. Thai exports to Europe and Japan, which is facing economic problems, also rose by 35.5 per cent and 23 per cent respectively. The US market grew 8.1 per cent, marking a slowdown for the second consecutive month.
Meanwhile, the emerging markets tend to improve with export to Russia growing by 128.7 per cent and by 47.6 per cent for Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Africa. Exports to Australia grew by 38.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, imports in July totalled B543 billion ($18.1 billion), a 13.5 per cent increase from the same period last year. Fuel imports rose by 60.7 per cent, capital goods by 18.3 per cent and consuming goods by 22.8 per cent while imports of raw materials and semi-finished products dropped by 3.7 per cent and gold imports decreased by 43.2 per cent.
Imports from January to July 2011 were valued at B3,909 billion ($130.3 billion), an increase of 26.1 per cent year-on-year.
Thailand enjoyed a trade surplus of B84 billion ($2.8 billion) in July and B186 billion ($6.2 billion) for the first seven months of this year.
However, the overall picture of exports for the whole year is still on target at 15 per cent growth.
Although the new government policy is not to depend on the export sector, it is still a key factor for economic growth and tends to rise in the last four months of this year.
Even though the United States, Europe and Japan may face some problems and signal negative Thai exports to those markets, new markets such as Russia, China and other countries have appeared. It was projected that exports for the whole year may exceed the target and worth over B6,000 billion ($200 billion), so the Commerce Ministry has not yet reviewed the export target.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Kittirat Na Ranong will give the policy statement on international trade and boosting domestic consumption next week.
Regarding volatile gold prices which may affect the export sector, Mr Yanyong said gold is not a major export. Increased gold exports in July as high as 3,919 per cent, worth B2.9 billion ($95 million), were caused by the global economic slowdown and fluctuation of the global stock direction. It led to speculation in gold and rising gold prices.
Department of Export Promotion (DEP) Director-General, Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, said export figures in the second half of this year dropped as the US market is facing domestic economic problems and Thai export goods in many categories such as industrial goods, furniture, toys, electrical appliances and textiles, began showing declines.
Export figures in the last two quarters will be lower than the first two quarters but in the overall picture, exports are on target as projected by the Commerce Ministry. – MCOT