Due to strong demand in global markets and despite volatile oil prices, Thai auto exports jumped nearly 23% in June, the Federation of Thai Industries' automotive section said on July 28. Exports of automobiles were worth 29.97 billion baht (US $896 million) in June.
"Demand in passenger cars and pick-up trucks in June was strong in every market, particularly in the Australia zone," the group's spokesman Surapong Paisitpatanapong said.
Exports of vehicles and their parts in the first six months of 2008 totalled 255.58 billion baht -- 33% higher than last year -- including shipments of cars and trucks worth 174.79 billion baht, the group said.
"We will, however, keep monitoring global oil prices, which are now dropping. We do not know for certain whether this fall of oil prices will last for a long period or not," Surapong said.
Thailand produced 130,549 automobiles in June, and 68,147 of those vehicles were exported.
The country has no national automaker, but has lured foreign companies here to turn the kingdom into an important regional production base.
Domestic car sales have recently been poor. Thai vehicle sales in June fell 5.9% year-on-year amid volatile fuel prices and high inflation.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008