Thai export growth rate hit three-year high

Shipments from Thailand provided a bright ray of sunshine in an otherwise stormy global economic sea, recording their highest growth rate in three years during April, a positive omen for the Kingdom’s export-driven economy.

Exports rose for a second consecutive month, increasing by 13.1 percent year-on-year in April to $21.4 billion on the heels of an 8.47 percent rise in March.

Exports, investment and consumption are the three pillars on which Thailand has built its economy, but exports have long been the central pillar, providing the largest share of growth. The Kingdom produces a diverse range of products, from rice to computer chips.

That diversity tends to ensure a degree of economic resilience during difficult times, as typified by the global trade slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shipments in the real sector proved to be robust during April, growing by 25.7 percent after a 12 percent rise in March. Imports also increased by 29.8 percent in April last month to $21.3 billion, producing a trade surplus of $182 million.

The rise in imports is evidence that Thai businesses and consumers are confident about the future and are willing to spend again after tightening their purse strings in 2020 when the pandemic was at its height.

April’s exports registered strong growth in agricultural and food products, and goods related to working at home and such as computers, furniture and appliances. COVID-19 pandemic-related products such as rubber gloves, medical equipment and parts also did well during the month.

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