China's economic struggles drive down SE Asia exports

Countries in Southeast Asia are struggling with a decline in exports amid lower demand from China. There are concerns the slump will continue in the months ahead.

The Thai Ministry of Commerce says exports in December dropped 14.6 percent year-on-year to approximately 21.7 billion dollars. It was the third straight month of decline. Exports to China fell 20.8 percent.

Singapore is experiencing similar problems, with non-oil exports contracting 20.6 percent in December. Shipments to China were down 31.8 percent.

China's economy has been hampered by a surge in COVID cases since the government lifted its strict anti-infection measures. The country is Southeast Asia's largest trading partner.

Analysts say regional exports may lose more steam in the months ahead as monetary tightening by western countries contributes to a global economic slowdown.