Thailand Trade Balance April 2020


Thailand: Merchandise export growth slows in April

May 22, 2020

Thai merchandise exports growth moderated to 2.1% year-on-year in April, from March’s 4.2% increase, likely influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic depressing globe trade and economic activity. The slowdown reflected plummeting shipments of cars and refined fuels, which were partly offset by soaring exports of precious stones and jewelry amid sky-high global prices for gold.

Meanwhile, merchandise imports fell 17.1%% over a year ago, down from the 7.3% rise in March. As imports continued to plunge, the trade balance surplus rose from USD 1.6 billion in March to USD 2.5 billion in April. On a 12-month rolling basis, the trade surplus rose to USD 15.1 billion, from March’s USD 11.3 billion.

Exports are expected to take a beating from the Covid-19 pandemic this year and weigh on the overall economy. Moreover, the balance of risks is notably titled to the downside owing to the pandemic, a slowing Chinese economy and the trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

FocusEconomics panelists project exports to contract 11.2% in 2020. The panel sees imports falling 16.5% in 2020, which would bring the trade surplus to USD 35.1 billion. In 2021, exports and imports are expected to increase 6.9% and 8.9% respectively, with the trade surplus narrowing to USD 33.9 billion.


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Thailand Trade Balance Chart

Thailand Trade12 April 20 20 0

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: Bank of Thailand (BoT) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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