Exports : record in may at 15,46 billions USD

Thailand enjoyed a trade surplus of approximately US$1.29 billion in May but suffered an overall trade deficit of around $1.69 billion during the first five months of 2008, a senior commerce ministry official said Friday.

Permanent Secretary for Commerce Siripol Yodmuangcharoen said the country’s exports in May climbed to a new record high of about $15.46 billion, up 21.4 per cent when compared to the same period last year.

Imports in May totaled $14.17 billion, an increase of 15.7 per cent from the corresponding period of 2007, said Mr. Siripol.

During the first five months of 2008, Thailand’s exports totaled about $70.94 billion, up 22.05 per cent from the same period of last year.

Imports during the period amounted about US$72.64 billion, a jump of 34.2 per cent from a year ago. (TNA)

Impressive. By the way, my call for a bigger trade deficit in may due to the oil bill was wrong. Or too early. đŸ˜‰

However, imports dropped 9 per cent from April, because of a significant fall in fuel imports, particularly finished oil, which decreased 71.55 per cent.

“Higher oil prices may have changed consumers’ behaviour, bringing a trade surplus in May,” said permanent secretary Siripol Yodmuang-charoen.

The Foreign Trade Department said demand for oil last month fell sharply by 29.12 per cent to 624,623 barrels per day, from 881,239 barrels in April. (Nation)

We should remain extremely cautious… It could be a statistical glitch. I mean it’s difficult to understand… I can’t believe that oil consumption dropped by 30 % in one month (look at the chart of net imports).

There is only one solution : exports of oil must have been slashed (yes, Thailand is an oil producer and exporter, look chart here).

[and this would be a perfect illustration of the first real effect of peak oil : oil producers reduce first their exports, to serve their own demand. To know more : read this fascinating article on the OilDrum]

[Well actually there could be another explanation (suggested by a reader) : stockpiles. They tapped oil/diesel stockpiles.]

Anyway, the BOT will publish the details (countries, sectors etc.) on june 30. Then we will be able to know how the exports jumped from 13,7 billions in april to 15,46 in may !

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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.

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