AMID the escalating trade war between the US and China , Thailand’s car exports hit a 24-month low in April, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).
Thai exports of completely-built-units (CBU) in April dropped 7.52 per cent year-on-year to 67,114 vehicles .
Almost all destinations saw declines in Thai car exports, except for shipments to Australia and the Middle East, said Surapong Paisitpatnapong, spokesman of the FTI’s Automotive Industry Club.
In the first four months of the year, Thailand’s CBU exports dipped 0.23 per cent to 366,955 units with a total value of Bt185.2 billion, down 2.46 per cent year-on-year.
On the production front, Thailand’s car manufacturing in April increased 11.47 per cent year-on-year to 150,242 cars, mainly due to a 9.37 per cent rise year-on-year in pickup production for exports, a 26.99 per cent increase in passenger car for the local market and an 18.74 per cent increase in pickups for domestic distributions.
Total car production went up 5.52 per cent year-on-year in the four-month period to 711,729 units.
Local car sales climbed 8.7 per cent year-on-year to 86,076 in April, thanks to economic expansion, growing consumer demand , new car models, continued public investment in transportation infrastructure, private investments and growing tourism, Surapong said.
In the first four months of this year, domestic car sales increased 10.5 per cent year-on-year to 349,625 cars.
Supant Mongkolsuthree, FTI chairman, said that the Thai Industries Sentiment Index in April fell for the first time in four months to 95.0 from 96.3 |in the previous month as |manufacturers accelerated |their production in March to compensate an expected drop in production in April due to long holidays.
However, manufacturers are concerned over a possible drop in purchasing power as result of droughts, export contraction and the local political situation.
The April survey was conducted on 1,213 business operators in 45 industries.
The three-month Thai Industries Sentiment Index in April also declined to 101.9 from 104.2 in the previous month with manufacturers troubled by rises in production costs, baht fluctuations and the US-China trade war.