Thailand: Exports drop in March, rounding off a weak first quarter
April 23, 2019
Thailand’s trade balance dropped from a USD 4.0 billion surplus in February to a USD 2.0 billion surplus in March; however, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance increased to a USD 3.0 billion surplus from a surplus of USD 2.4 billion in February.
In March, exports dropped 4.9% year-on-year while imports fell 7.6% year-on-year. The drop in exports reflected a broad-based deterioration with nearly all of the top 15 export groups registering a fall in outbound shipments. Exports of Motor cars, parts and accessories; rubber products; rubber; and other electrical equipment and parts rose, however. Exports likely suffered from the global slowdown in trade and economic growth.
Exports are a key driver of economic growth in Thailand and in the first quarter, merchandise exports contracted 1.5%. This suggests that economic growth in the first quarter of the year has slowed down.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist