22 April 2019
Thai exports in March continued to contract with no signs of recovery
The value of Thai exports dropped by -4.9%YOY in March 2019
Author: Panundorn Aruneeniramarn and Jirayu Photirat
|The value of Thai exports dropped by -4.9%YOY in March 2019, a contraction continuing from February 2019 with -3.4%YOY growth (excluding one-time shipments of arms and military weapons sent back to the US). As a result, declining export growth in March 2019 registered a 5 consecutive months drop. Major products faced with export value reductions were computer – parts and components (-20.0%YOY), electronic integrated circuits (-21.7%YOY), and machinery and parts (-19.5%YOY). Similarly, key agricultural products with declining export growth were sugar (-23.0%YOY), rice (-7.7%YOY), and cassava (-9.4%YOY) (details as per Table 1). With such regards, Thai export value in the first quarter of 2019 dropped by -4.7%YOY (excluding arms and military weapons shipment to the US). Meanwhile, Thai import value continued to drop by -7.6%YOY, due to lowering growth in capital goods import in the categories of airplanes, gliders – parts and components and gold with growth declines of -71.7%YOY and -51.1%YOY, respectively. As such, Thai import value in the first quarter of 2019 dropped by -4.4%YOY (excluding imports of arms and military weapons for warfare drills during January).
No indication of Thai export recovery
EIC revises down import growth for the year 2019 to 3.2% from the previous forecast of 3.6%. Imports of raw materials and export-related capital goods tend to slow. Furthermore, import growth could be suppressed by signs of dropping average crude oil price in 2019 that will impact the growth of fuel imports. As such, total import growth in 2019 should slow from 2018.
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