Thailand Trade March 2019


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.

FocusEconomics panelists expect exports to expand 2.9% in 2019. The panel sees imports increasing 5.2% in 2019, which would bring the trade surplus to USD 19.0 billion. In 2020, exports and imports are expected to increase 4.0% and 5.0% respectively, with a trade surplus of USD 17.3 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Thailand Trade Chart

Thailand Trade12 March 2019 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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