Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Export shock: Trade deficit hits $675 mln

Thai exports grew 15.5 per cent in August, the slowest performance this year, while imports were up 26.9 per cent, leaving the kingdom with a $675 million trade deficit, the Bank of Thailand said Tuesday.

The value of Thailand's exports totaled $15.79 billion, up 15.5 per cent from August 2007, the central bank said. The rise was lower than July's 44-per-cent jump.

The export slowdown was led by declines in rice shipments and prices while rubber exports also dropped in volume, the bank said.

Thailand, the world's leading rice exporter, enjoyed a trade windfall in June and July this year when rice prices soared on the world market.

But world rice prices declined in August, and Thai rice exports, deemed overpriced because of a domestic price-support scheme, have faltered.

The value of Thailand's imports in August totaled $16.46 billion. (dpa)

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