China still Thailand’s largest market, but trade value slumping

An expert offered that the contraction is inevitable as China keeps locking down its cities repeatedly in line with its zero-Covid policy.

The Nation

The Nation



December 5, 2022

BANGKOK – Though China remained Thailand’s biggest bilateral trade partner in the first 10 months of this year, the Kingdom suffered a 1.07 trillion baht deficit during the period.
The Commerce Ministry’s Permanent Secretariat said bilateral trade between the two countries during the first 10 months came in at 3.06 trillion baht, up by 14.07% compared to the same period last year.

According to the centre, Thailand’s exports to China during the period were valued at 996 billion baht, up 2.82%, while imports rose by 20.40% to 2.07 trillion baht.

The top five products exported to China in terms of baht value were:

• Fresh, frozen and dried foods: 146 billion (+2.20%)

• Rubber products: 95.4 billion (+31.38%)

• Plastic pellets: 91 billion (+5.05%)

• Tapioca: 81.9 billion (+18.66%)

• Computers and parts, +5.31%.

The top five imports from China in baht value were:

• Electronics and parts: 266 billion (+25.50%)

• Chemical products: 119 billion (+35.95%)

• Machines and parts: 185 billion (+11.48%)

• Household appliances: 178 billion (+6.08%)

• Computers and parts: 126 billion (-2.62%)

However, Assoc Prof Dr Aat Pisanwanich, director of the Centre for International Trade Studies of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said trade between the two countries is expected to contract compared to last year.

He said the contraction was inevitable as China keeps locking down its cities again and again in line with its zero-Covid policy, which is affecting its factories and import of raw materials.

Separately, the United States came in second in the list of Thailand’s top trading partners, with a trade value of 1.9 trillion baht, up 32.18% compared to the same period last year.

Thailand’s exports to the US were valued at 1.36 trillion baht, up 28.18%, while imports stood at 531 billion baht, up 43.71%. With this trade connection, Thailand achieved a surplus of 838 billion baht.

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