Thailand : Current account balance, Rice exports

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Stronger economic growth in some major export markets, including the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and pickup in world trade indicate that growth in merchandise exports will quicken to about 10% in 2013, and step up again in 2014. Manufacturing industries’ return to full production will support the increase in exports. Imports are forecast to increase by 11% this year, accelerating in 2014 when the government starts the new transport infrastructure projects. The current account is expected to record small surpluses (Figure 3.30.10). Risks to this outlook include the challenges discussed below, potential significant delays affecting infrastructure projects, and capital inflows that maintain upward pressure on the baht, damaging the competitiveness of exports. Failure to address weaknesses in education is a longer-term risk to economic development. The government is incurring substantial losses from its purchases of rice from farmers at prices above the international market. Thai rice inventories were estimated at 15 million tons early in 2013 as overseas buyers turned to lower-priced rice from India and Viet Nam (Figure 3.30.11). Losses could exceed the equivalent of 1% of GDP annually. Source: Asian Development Outlook database. - , CEIC database (accessed 2 April 2013)


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