World Economy

Thai Trade Surplus at 5-Year High

Thai Trade Surplus at 5-Year HighThai Trade Surplus at 5-Year High

Thailand's trade surplus ballooned to a five-year high in September as imports plunged and exports continued to contract, official data showed Monday.

According to the commerce ministry's monthly report, Thailand's trade surplus surged to $2.79 billion—the highest since September 2010. It had a $721 million surplus in August. Since the beginning of this year, the country has recorded an accumulated trade surplus of $7.75 billion, Dow Jones reported.

In September, Thailand's customs-basis exports declined for the ninth consecutive month by 5.15% from a year earlier to $18.81 billion, but slowing down from the 6.69% on-year fall in August.

Somkiat Triratpan, director of the ministry's trade and strategy bureau, said exports continued to contract due to slow global economic recovery and low oil and farm product prices.

During the first nine months of 2015, Thailand's overseas shipments contracted 4.98% year-over-year to $161.56 billion.

In imports, the country recorded a 26.2% on-year plunge to $16.02 billion in September, compared with the 4.77% year-over-year fall in August. For the first nine months of this year, Thai imports fell 10.46% from last year to $153.8 billion.

The ministry blamed the sizeable on-year fall in energy products and raw materials of 44.0% and 28.1%, respectively, for the steep fall in overall imports in September, which is the largest since May 2009.