BoT: Exports to rise gradually

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) expects Thai exports to gradually pick up and bolster the economy this year.

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BoT spokeswoman Roong Mallikamas said on Wednesday Thai exports were showing signs of a slow recovery as evidenced by a 3.1% drop year-on-year in March and a 0.9% decrease in April.

They should be an important economic driver this year, she said.

"Export volumes look good, especially those of industrial products. Besides, global demand indicators and Thai exporters' views point to a better future, albeit slowly," Mrs Roong said.

However, she warned China's slowdown had affected farm prices, especially those of rubber, and that could limit Thailand's export value.

Kasikorn Research Center predicted the export value could increase in a range of 3-6% this year, with an evident recovery in the second quarter of this year.

The centre reported Thai exports had been weak in the first four months of this year due to the slow recovery of key exports — automobiles, auto parts, computers and parts, rubber and rubber products, and chemical products.

Thailand's the key markets of China and Asean have lost their economic momentum since early this year, the centre stated.

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