Thailand: Trade deficit widens in November
Thailand recorded a USD 1.2 billion trade deficit in November, a bigger shortfall than October’s USD 280 million deficit. Moreover, the result contrasts the USD 1.9 billion trade surplus recorded in November 2017. The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance narrowed strongly from a USD 4.2 billion surplus in October to a USD 1.2 billion surplus in November, the lowest value since March 2015.
Exports contracted 0.9% year-on-year in November, swinging from October’s strong 8.7% expansion. The drop in exports came on the back of marked contractions in shipments of rubber; rice; motor cars, parts and accessories; and automatic data processing machines and parts. On the other hand, exports of precious stones and jewelry, refine fuels, and chemical products continued to grow strongly. Import growth accelerated from 11.2% year-on-year in October to 14.7% in November. Although this has had a negative effect on the trade balance, it reflects the domestic economy continuing to gain traction.