Exports, drop of 11 % in february : serious anomaly on gold and jewelry

The total amount of exports for february was published today : 11,73 billions USD (against 10,49 billions in january).

That’s a drop of 11 % compared to february 2008.

Meanwhile, imports are crashing… drop of 39 % year on year, at 8,15 billions… Ouch. Bad omen for the consumption and the industry (that imports raw materials, parts etc.)

In February exports of electrics fell 30.1 per cent, electrical appliances 33.3 per cent and automobiles by 33.2 per cent, according to the ministry’s latest figures.

The three sectors account for more than 60 per cent of Thailand’s total exports. (DPA)

The long term chart :

exportsfebruary

So, I can hear you : you see the crisis is over. Exports are higher in february than in january… Hurrah. πŸ˜‰

Wait a minute.

According to Mr Siripol, the February exports were also boosted by high gold prices which prompted Thai investors to sell the precious metal shipped to Hong Kong and other markets. Gold exports surged 1,148% last month to $1.86 billion from $781 million in January. Exports of jewellery and ornaments as a result rose 402.7% in February, earning $2.15 billion. (Bangkok Post)

Guys, this is a serious… anomaly !

It’s insane… Okay prices were lower one year ago… but such an increase… And by the way it shows that some thais are desesperate… they are ready to sell their gold because they need cash… and someone “out there” is ready to pay for the thai gold…

[to answer a question from a reader : no, the Bank of Thailand is not the culprit. Their gold reserve is still there, see comments section]

Anyway you know what it means. It means that the “better than very bad” number for february is totally artificial... and won’t last.

In march the nightmare will start again, with a drop of 25 % year on year for total exports.

I remind you the schedule : the Bank Of Thailand will publish the details (in USD, in THB, per category of goods, countries etc.) on march 31.

I will update all the charts the following days.

Last point : this article wouldn’t be completed without a… rant, right ? πŸ˜‰

Look the liquid bullshit some people have into their brain…

Aat Pisanwanich, director of the Centre for International Trade Studies of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) said he was a bit surprised to see big improvements in February’s exports although the world economy was still mired in the downward spiral.

This guy is… paid. This guy is “educated”. And yet, he’s ready to make a total fool of himself…

9 Responses to “Exports, drop of 11 % in february : serious anomaly on gold and jewelry”


  1. 1 ray 19 March 2009 at 4:43 am

    hello tc

    is the bank of thailand selling its gold bullions? if so we are f$%&ed!! in this economy atmosphere i dont think jewellery exports should rise. india is the biggest consumer of gold for jewellery due to weddings, festivals etc and their import of gold has dropped dramatically. could u shed some light as to gold as in bullions or jewellery? thanks

  2. 2 ThaiCrisis 19 March 2009 at 4:54 am

    No ray !
    Easy : check the “reserves” (weekly view)…. you’ll see that the gold of the BOT is still there. Around 2,5 billions USD.
    http://www.bot.or.th/English/Statistics/EconomicAndFinancial/ExternalSector/Pages/StatInternationalReserves.aspx#

    However, I can tell you that the BOT continues to buy… US Treasury securities !!!!
    http://www.treas.gov/tic/mfh.txt

    I’m wondering which one is the worse (to sale the gold or to buy US paper). πŸ˜‰

    The global situation is really weird. You saw what happened last night with the FED announcement ? It’s the beginning of the end.
    Watch your back…

  3. 3 George P Tuckeer 19 March 2009 at 5:01 am

    On the question of trade, this might be of interest:

    http://www.lloydslist.com/ll/news/viewArticle.htm?articleId=20017629545&src=rss

    Michelle Wiese Bockmann – Wednesday 18 March 2009

    JUST over 11% or 434 ships in the global containership fleet are currently unemployed.

    The latest Alphaliner statistics showed that an additional 31 ships have been placed in lay-up since March 2.

    Alphaliner said numbers of idle ships were still growing, but at a slower pace.

    β€œThe traditional winter lows are behind us. It now remains to hope that the next peak season, which should kick off in May or June maintains the positive momentum, if, and it’s a big if, consumer confidence rebounds,” the report said.

    About 243 of the 484 idle ships were those redelivered to owners after charters expired and had yet to find employment. The remaining idle vessels were either controlled by carriers.

    About one quarter of vessels without work are those in the 1,000 teu-2,000 teu capacity range, at 134 ships.

    There are 24 ships larger than 7,500 teu in lay-up.

    Alphaliner began monitoring the container fleet in October when plummeting demand saw 70 vessels become idle as trade dwindled on major shipping lanes from Asia to Europe, and to the US.

  4. 4 John 19 March 2009 at 9:15 am

    I heard the Thaksin family moved their gold and juwelry collection to their new home in Hongkong.

  5. 5 ThaiCrisis 19 March 2009 at 9:26 am

    Well… it might be true… or just another rumor (before the coup, people were talking about Thaksin’s wife leaving the country with dozen of suitcases… full of… we don’t know) πŸ˜‰

    But in any case, a flying suitcase if I may say is certainly not a “sale”. And therefore couldn’t show up in exports statistics. πŸ˜‰

  6. 6 ray 19 March 2009 at 10:40 am

    yes i read the fed announcement. gold was off by 3% and right after the announcement it gained 7% .. the race to devalue has begun. i think this is trade war between china and usa. chinese are unhappy with the united states and the united states did exactly just what will harm chinese holdings of us dollars. in 3 years i think hyper inflation will happen.

    as for buying treasuries from usa,, this is what is expected from these idiots. they should do what china is doing ie buy commodities like oil because we are net importers of oil but the thai officials would need to have a brain!!
    i have been watching the debate censure its better than the benny hill show!! seriously

    on a more serious note who are buying the jewellery from thailand?

  7. 7 ThaiCrisis 19 March 2009 at 11:20 am

    I fully agree : the BOT is not, I repeat, is not an institution full of competent people.

    Like all the other central bankers… they are playing according to the old text books… It’s like a mind prison for them. No creativity, no reactivity (in our modern and agitated times, leaders need really to be reactive). Tarisa has only one word in her mouth : stability. Like a parrot.

    Yeah, sure ! When everything is fine, stability is very nice. πŸ˜‰ But she’s unable to understand that the world, now, is totally fucked up.

    I really dislike Bernanke (he’s a huge liar, a manipulator, and his policies will be a disaster). But at least, he’s smart. And he’s not afraid to take innovative steps.

    This man is on a mission, a holly mission.

    He studied the depression. And he believes, hard as steel, that he can beat it. I say : disaster. But also : respect. πŸ˜‰

    He will go to the end. The end of his convictions… This is why we are in deep trouble. πŸ˜‰

  8. 8 Lloyd 19 March 2009 at 1:10 pm

    It wont be the “mums and dads” selling their gold as the volumes required to effect prices at a wholesale level would become very noticable at the retail store level, ie: panic type runs on gold merchants. It is more likely some of the smarter wholesalers have decided to hedge and exchange gold and precious metals for cash or other commodities, or are selling at what they see as a high price so they can buy short if the dollar falls.

    Know what a Trillions Dollars looks like?

  9. 9 Prokster 19 March 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Conspiracy theory.
    Why would someone β€˜export’ a lot of gold and rocky stuff at the high?
    They might sell it to a β€˜party’ in a country where they found a buyer, or where they want to… stash cash . Timing. One off. But caught by TC.
    The estination bit on the export docs is where the answer… or a deeper conspiracy lies.


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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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