Commerce Minister Thanon Bidaya disclosed on July 27 that
Thailand’s trade in June continued to be in US$1.88 billion deficit for
the sixth consecutive month, resulting in total deficits of more than
US$8.15 billion for the first half of this year.
He said exports in June totaled US$9.27 billion, up 11.7%
from the same month of the previous year, and those in the first half of
this year amounted to US$51.83 billion, up 12.9% from the corresponding
period last year.
Imports in June reached a record high of US$11.15
billion, up 37.2% from the same month the year before, and those in the
first half totaled US$59.98 billion, up 32% from the same period last year.
“Imports in June surged by a record high of 37.2%. The
most imported product is fuel, up 104.4%, followed by capital goods, up
34.2%, and raw materials, up 22.3%. In particular, import of crude oil
soared by 109.7% with the value and volume rising by 53.9% and 36.2%,
respectively,” he said.
The minister said items with hefty import volume include
fuel, steel and iron, gold, and machinery.
In June, import of gold began to decline, but that of
fuel, steel and iron continued to stay high.
In an attempt to ease the import of goods, the ministry
recently invited operators in the steel industry to discuss the problem and
sought their cooperation in curbing steel imports.
Dr. Thanong said he believed the import of steel eased in
July, which will help reduce the trade deficit for that month.
In the second half of this year, he said, the ministry
will strictly supervise imports, but will not issue measures to control it.
However, the ministry will examine whether there is an
unusual rise in imports. If any unusual increases are found, the ministry
will take mandatory measures to control it immediately, said the minister.
Dr. Thanong said he was confident that exports in the
second half of this year would rise by more than 20% to US$65.37 billion.
Imports in the second half were projected to reach US$59
billion, resulting in a trade surplus of over US$6 billion.
This, when combined with the trade deficits in the first
half, would help reduce the deficit for the whole year to less than US$2
billion, the minister said. (TNA)