- Exports of Thai manufacturing products fell by 4.5%YOY in May. Exports of major manufacturing products including electronic appliances, computers and parts, and integrated circuits shrank by 5.1%YOY, 1.3%YOY, and 3.9%YOY respectively. The relocation of TV production bases from Thailand to Vietnam in the first quarter contributed to a sharp contraction of electrical appliances exports. More specifically, exports of TVs and parts fell as much as 11.3%YOY. Exports of computers and parts to Hong Kong were particularly weak. Moreover, export growth of this product group to the U.S. was lower than previously expected. Additionally, exports of oil-related products including refined fuel, chemicals, and plastics continued to shrink markedly by 24.6%YOY, 17.4%YOY and 16.2%YOY, respectively. If compared to April, however, these exports grew slightly. Auto and parts exports continued to expand, albeit by a small percentage, by 0.6%YOY in May, mostly from car exports. However, exports of pick-up trucks declined by over 19.3%YOY due to a delay to wait for a new model of pick-up trucks that were released at the end of May. This was likely a temporary shock to the export growth of auto and parts.
- The decline in agricultural exports slowed down showing better signs of recovery after a slight increase in rubber prices this year.Rubber exports declined by 14.4%YOY in May, an improvement from a sharp contraction of 35%YOY in the first quarter. At present, the rubber prices rose by 10%. Rice exports increased slightly by 1.9%YOY. On the other hand, exports of frozen seafood and processed seafood still fell drastically by 14.2%YOY this month due to the loss of import-duty privileges under the European’s Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP). Thai seafood exporters are under pressure from the EU’s warning to resolve labor abuse and human-trafficking in the fishery industry. Overall, Thailand's agricultural exports declined by 2.8%YOY.
- Thai exports to China continued to expand for the second consecutive month. Exports to China increased by 3.3%YOY in April, an improvement from a 1.1%YOY growth in April. The main export product to China was cassava, which doubled in one month. Exports to the CLMV markets grew by 2.5%YOY. Exports to the U.S., however, rose only by 0.4%YOY in contrast to the big gain of 5% in the first quarter of the year. Exports to Japan and the eurozone declined by 4.1%YOY and 13.7%YOY following a slowdown in their economies.
- Oil prices that peaked around the same month in 2014 contributed to a sharp drop of Thai import value of 20%YOY in May 2015. Crude oil imports fell again by 55%YOY in May mainly because the comparison is against the high oil prices during the same time last year; during which, the global crude oil prices were nearing its peak. Capital good imports also shrank by 8%YOY as domestic demand slowed. More specifically, imports of machineries and parts decreased by 13%YOY. Additionally, consumer goods and raw materials imports dropped by 2.6%YOY and 14.5%YOY respectively, making the decline in the first five months of the year 9.4%YOY. The drastic drop in import value contributed to a large trade surplus of 2,416 million USD. In the first five months of this year, the trade balance stood at a surplus of 3,322.7 million USD.