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Trade deficits surge to over US$8bn in first half of this year

Chiang Mai Brand - a symbol of quality

Tesco UK to hold ‘Taste of Thailand’ event

Trade deficits surge to over US$8bn in first half of this year

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)

Chiang Mai Brand - a symbol of quality

Nopniwat Krailerg

A total of 88 businesses with 247 products have been approved to use the name “Chiang Mai Brand”, revealed Thongchai Wongrianthong, Chiang Mai deputy governor. The brand name is to guarantee the quality of the goods and can only be used with approval. The number of applicants and awards were also more than was expected.

The Chiang Mai Brand products include textiles, fiber and Sa paper, earthenware products, wood and basketry, instant food and health products, agricultural products, alcohol products such as wine and another 29 different kinds of home grown items.

This year, the Chiang Mai Brand Fair 2005 will be held on August 11-14 at JJ Market on Assadatorn Rd. (behind Lotus Khamthiang) and organized by the Chiang Mai Provincial Commerce Office.

Tesco UK to hold‘Taste of Thailand’ event

Tesco UK, the parent company of the local Tesco Lotus, is holding a “Taste of Thailand” event at five of its biggest stores around London to promote Thai products.

From August 3-10, 2005, “Taste of Thailand” will showcase a selection of Thai products in Beckton, Lea Valley, Yeading, Hayes and Brent Park stores. The event is being organized in cooperation with the Department of Export Promotion at the Thai Ministry of Commerce.

The promotion will bring to British customers the exciting range of products from Thailand, including curry sauce, satay, fish sauce, wonton, noodles, bamboo shoots, coconut milk and rice.

Famous Thai fruits such as rambutan, mangosteen, custard apple, mango, and dragon fruit, and tasty Thai vegetables including yard long beans, bitter gourd, galangal, ginger, flowering chives, turmeric, chilies and fresh lemongrass will also be featured.

A special competition held in association with the promotion will see a lucky customer winning a week’s holiday in Thailand in association with Thai International, Thai AirAsia, the Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok and Amari Coral Beach Hotel in Phuket.

“Tesco has always been looking for ways to assist Thai exports,” said Tesco Lotus chairman, Suthorn Arunanondchai. “These efforts are now paying off and Tesco expects to purchase 5.7 billion baht of Thai produce this year.”