Thailand: Thailand records another trade deficit in August, export growth eases
Thailand recorded a USD 588 million trade deficit in August, widening from July’s USD 516 million deficit (previously reported: USD 525 million deficit) and contrasting August 2017’s notable trade surplus. This marked the fourth trade deficit in the last eight months and highlights the change of fortunes of Thailand’s external sector. Meanwhile, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance dropped from USD 10.6 billion in July to USD 7.7 billion in August, the lowest reading in three years.
Export growth eased to 6.7% year-on-year in USD value terms in August, down from 8.3% in the previous month but nonetheless beating market expectations of 5.0% growth. Growth in exports was supported by robust foreign demand for motor cars; plastic products; and machinery and mechanical components. China, U.S. and Japan continued to be the main trading partners. Imports grew 22.8% over the same month a year ago in August, up from 10.5% in July.