Thailand Trade January 2019


Thailand: Trade balance swings into red in January

February 21, 2019

The external sector got off to a false start in the new year, with the trade balance swinging from a USD 1.1 billion surplus in December to a USD 4.0 billion deficit in January. The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance consequently fell from as USD 3.3 billion surplus in December to a USD 709 million shortfall in January.

January’s result reflects a steep 5.6% drop in exports, larger than December’s 1.7% contraction. The drop in exports came on the back of less outbound shipments of most goods. The strongest drops were recorded in exports of internal combustion engines, precious stones and jewelry and rubber. Simultaneously, import growth swung from an 8.1% contraction in December to a 14.0% rise in January.

FocusEconomics panelists expect exports to expand 3.9% in 2019. The panel sees imports increasing 6.4% in 2019, which would bring the trade surplus to USD 16.5 billion. In 2020, exports and imports are expected to increase 4.0% and 5.1% respectively, with a trade surplus of USD 14.4 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Thailand Trade Chart

Thailand Trade12 January 2019

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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