Thai exports in August 2023 grew by 2.6% after 10 months of contraction, reaching a value of USD 24,279.6 million. Exports to China improved by 1.9%, while exports to ASEAN and the US experienced fluctuations.
The trade balance was supported by the transfer of special purpose motor vehicles. The forecast for Thai exports in 2023 was revised to a decline of 1.5%, but a 3.5% expansion is expected in 2024. However, various factors may continue to hinder Thai exports, such as tightened monetary policies in advanced countries and drought conditions.
In August 2023, Thai exports saw an expansion of 2.6%YOY, marking the first growth in 11 months. The value of exports for the month reached USD 24,279.6 million, contributing to a total of USD 187,593.1 million for the period of 8M2023. Factors attributed to this resurgence include higher export prices, a lower base of calculation, and special factors from the transfer of special purpose motor vehicles to the United States. However, excluding certain products, exports still managed a slight growth of 0.7%.
Different product categories experienced varied outcomes in August. Exports of agricultural, manufacturing, and mining and fuel products returned to expansion, while agro-industrial products continued to decline. Key destinations also saw improvements, including exports to China, which increased by 1.9%. However, exports to ASEAN dropped at a slower rate, and exports to the US expanded significantly due to the transfer of special purpose motor vehicles.
The trade balance in August was mainly supported by the transfer of special purpose motor vehicles. The value of imports declined by -12.8% with decreases in imports of refined fuel and raw materials. Capital goods imports remained relatively unchanged while imports of vehicles and transportation equipment, as well as consumer goods, improved. Overall, SCB EIC revised their 2023 Thai export forecast to -1.5% due to the continual export decline.
Looking ahead to 2024, Thai exports are expected to return to a 3.5% expansion. Factors such as global trade volume expansion, easing supply chain conditions, increasing oil prices, and policies limiting agricultural exports from certain countries contribute to this projection. However, challenges persist, including tightened monetary policies in advanced countries, China’s slower economic growth, and drought conditions affecting agricultural output.