Thai exports in August experienced their first expansion in 11 months, with a value of USD 24,279.6 million, a growth of 2.6% compared to the previous year. This increase can be attributed to higher export prices, a lower base of calculation, and the transfer of special purpose motor vehicles to the United States. However, when excluding certain products, exports only grew by 0.7%. Agricultural, manufacturing, and mining and fuel products all saw expansion, while agro-industrial products continued to decline. Exports to China improved, while exports to ASEAN and the US faced challenges. Overall, SCB EIC has revised their 2023 Thai export forecast to -1.5% and expects a 3.5% expansion in 2024. Several factors could hinder Thai exports, including monetary policy changes in advanced countries, China’s slower economic growth, and drought conditions.
Thai Exports in August Rebound with Increased Value
Thai exports saw a positive growth in August 2023, marking the first expansion in 11 months. The value of Thai exports for the month reached USD 24,279.6 million, a 2.6% year-on-year growth. This turnaround can be attributed to higher export prices, lower base of calculation, and the transfer of special purpose motor vehicles from Thailand to the United States. Excluding products that do not reflect actual international trade conditions, exports still showed a slight growth of 0.7%, indicating satisfactory growth during the month.
Improvement Seen Across Various Product Categories
In August, exports of agricultural, manufacturing, and mining and fuel products returned to expansion. Exports of agro-industrial products, however, continued to decline. Notably, agricultural exports benefited from nearly 2-year high expansion of agricultural product prices, resulting from drought conditions in various countries and India’s rice export ban. Similarly, manufacturing product exports expanded due to special purpose motor vehicles transfer, while mining and fuel products saw a surge in growth after periods of decline.
Export Destinations Show Mixed Results
Exports to various key destinations demonstrated mixed results. While exports to China improved by 1.9%, exports to ASEAN countries declined at a slower rate. The US saw a significant increase in exports, attributed to the transfer of special purpose motor vehicles from Thailand. Overall, exports are expected to gradually improve in the coming months, driven by better global economic conditions, support from a low base effect, and higher export prices.
Thai Export Forecast Revised Down for 2023
Due to ongoing export decline and a slower recovery than anticipated, the 2023 Thai export forecast has been revised downward to -1.5%, from the previous estimation of 0.5%. However, a return to 3.5% expansion is projected for 2024, supported by global trade volume expansion, improving supply chain conditions, rising oil prices, and policies limiting agricultural exports from certain countries. Nevertheless, factors such as tightened monetary policy in advanced countries, China’s slower economic growth, and drought conditions may continue to hinder Thai exports.