Thailand suffers US$781 million trade deficit in August

BANGKOK, Sept 19 (TNA) - Thailand imported goods valued at US$16.7 billion while exports totalled US$15.9 billion in August, causing the country to suffer a deficit amounting to US$781 million, Permanent Secretary for Commerce Siripol Yodmuangcharoen said on Friday.

Major goods imported into the kingdom in August were oil having a total value of about US$3.95 billion, raw materials and semi-finished products worth US$7.5 billion and capital goods valued at US$3.4 billion.

"The trade deficit suffered in August resulted from high imports of oil and gold. Oil prices in the world market remained high while investors were interested in gold prices and traded gold in the forward market," Mr. Siripol said.

He said his ministry would closely monitor gold price movements.

During the first eight months of 2008, Thailand imported goods worth about US$122.9 billion, up 35.4 per cent from the corresponding period of last year. Exports between January and August this year totalled some US$ 120.057 billion, an increase of 24.5 per cent from the same period last year.

Despite the financial crisis in the US -- Thailand's key trading partner, Thailand is expected to meet its export growth target of a minimum 12.5 per cent in 2008, he added. (TNA)