Weakening baht bolsters Thai exports in March


Thailand’s exports entered positive territory in March after contracting 4.47 percent in February, the Commerce Ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO) said Tuesday (April 21). 

TPSO expects exports in the first quarter of this year to not shrink as shipments from the country in January and March were high. 

Products that have high demand overseas are food, canned and processed fruit, frozen and processed chicken, jewellery and other accessories excluding gold,” a TPSO official said. 

The official added that exports in March this year entered positive territory due to the weakening baht, which showed a 5.04 percent contraction compared to the same period last year. 

“However, it is difficult to forecast the direction exports will take in response to the pandemic,” the official added. 

Separately, Somdet Susomboon, director-general of the Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), said the department was planning to use digital content and online systems to boost export growth, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Though it is difficult to forecast international trade as crises may emerge at any time, but we believe Thai exports will be good this year due to the weakening of the baht,” he said. “However, we have to be ready to deal with any situation that may occur. 

Supapat Ongsangkoon, Commerce Ministry’s spokesperson, said that Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit has scheduled a meeting with manufacturers to discuss ways to help the economy recover after the Covid-19 crisis. 

The move is to listen to problems, proposals and find ways to work with the private sector before implementing measures to drive the economy,” he said. 

He added that discussions with manufacturers of frozen and processed chicken, such as Charoen Pokphand Foods, Betagro, and Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association will be held on Wednesday. 

Frozen and processed chicken is a product that consumers need and there is a chance for it to expand exports,” he added. 

“A similar discussion will be held on Thursday with manufacturers of instant foods, beverage, vegetables and fruits, such as the Thai Frozen Foods Association, Thai Tuna Industry Association as well as farmers from Prachuap Khiri Khan and Samut Songkhram provinces.” 

He added that the ministry will hold a discussion with e-commerce companies operating both locally and overseas on April 27 on allowing farmers, small- and medium-sized businesses, manufacturers and exporters to sell products online.