Thai Oct exports rebound 8.7% y/y, gov’t sees 2018 exports to top 8% target

22, Nov. 2018

――Thai Oct exports rebounds 8.7% y/y, Jan-Oct exports +8.2% at $211.5 billion

――Thai Oct imports +11.2% y/y, Jan-Oct imports +14.8% at $208.9 billion

――Thai Oct trade deficit $280 million, Jan-Oct trade surplus $2.6 billion

――Thai Oct exports to China +3.0% y/y, exports to U.S. +7.2%

――Thai Oct exports to Japan +18.7% y/y, exports to ASEAN 5 +24.4%

――Thai Oct farm exports +12.2% y/y, industrial exports +6.8%

BANGKOK, NNA – Thailand’s exports marked a stronger-than-expected rebound, up 8.7 percent on year in October in light of strong demand from Southeast Asia, prompting the government to say it is confident that exports will exceed the official target of 8% this year.

The increase followed a surprise 5.2-percent drop in September, the first decline in 19 months due to last year’s high base for auto and gold shipments.

In October, exports to five major economies of the Association of South-East Asian Nations -- Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore -- surged 24.4 percent, while those to a group of other emerging Asian economies called CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) jumped 18.8 percent, Ministry of Commerce data showed Wednesday.

The pace of increase in exports to the world’s two largest economies was slower: shipments to China rose 3.0% and those to the United States climbed 7.2 percent

In Thailand’s July-September GDP data released Monday, the U.S. dispute caused a decrease in integrated circuit exports to China while higher U.S. tariffs dented demand for washing machines and solar panels shipped from Thailand.

Government officials have said the U.S.-China trade war is having a dampening effect on Thai exports in the short term.

In the longer term, they believe the dispute could benefit Thailand’s economic growth because companies that produce goods affected by higher U.S. import duties tend to have factories both in China and Thailand.

The Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday it is “confident that export growth in 2018 will exceed the target of 8 percent.”

Solid U.S. private consumption should benefit Thai exports of consumer goods while economic growth in Europe, China and Japan is “promising despite of downside risks,” it said.