As Thailand’s government continues to insist the Thai economy will ‘turn around’ in the last six months of 2020, everything being reported seems to point to otherwise.
The latest bad news for the Thai economy in 2020 is the release of the new figures for Thailand exports.
According to the Commerce Ministry, those figures now show Thai exports fell to their lowest level in a decade in June.
That follows on with last month’s news Thai exports for January through May were the lowest in four years. June’s figures then were even worse than previous months’ with a total drop of 23.2% compared to June, 2019.
Of course, just like Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Thai Rice Exporters Association and various other Thai agencies, the Commerce Ministry says they expect the Thai economy to turn around and exports to increase later in the year.
Without any evidence or a basis in reality, of course.
In fact, the likely outcome for Thai exports for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 is ever falling numbers.
After all, with economies contracting all over the world due to the COVID-19 panic, even if international buyers of Thai products have the money, many are not willing to spend it due to an uncertain economic future.
As tens of millions of people worldwide become newly unemployed in the coming months, this scenario will worsen even further.
This is especially simple to understand when you look at the Thai exports that are affected by the plummeting world economy, as it is not just one export product but almost all of them.
The three main Thai exports — rice, rubber and sugar — are all down markedly with rice exports down 25.6%, rubber down 55.6% and 57.1% for sugar.
Canned and processed seafood was down more than 21%, frozen and processed fruit and vegetables down almost 9% and pet food 21.2%.
Industrial exports from Thailand saw an even larger drop with precious stones and jewelry down by 70.1%, gold by 86%, automobiles and parts by 43.2% and oil-related products by 18%.
Products like computer parts, semiconductors and furniture saw an increase, but not enough of one to make much of a positive difference in the outlook for Thai exports in 2020/
While world markets are currently picking up slowly, they are also not likely to give the boost to Thai exports the Commerce Department believes is forthcoming.
This is due to many of these markets expected to only temporarily pick up before slowing even further as more businesses realize they have to lay off staff and as more people are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits or other government help.
Most economists believe it will be well into 2021 or even into 2022 before most countries see much of an economic stabilization and then, going forward, will experience only minimal economic growth year-on-year.
That is sadly why the Commerce Ministry’s current positivity is not reflected in real world reality.
Thailand’s economy is also likely to follow suit as the country is still locked down to most international visitors and projected to be for several months to come.