Thai exports in December 2023 showed signs of recovery, with a 4.7%YOY increase, but uncertainty remains due to special factors affecting growth.
Thai exports are expected to continue recovering in 2024 with a 3.7% growth, supported by factors such as improving global trade volume, growth in the international trade-related manufacturing sector, high export product prices, and efforts to promote Thai exports through Free Trade Agreements with various countries.
Despite potential risks from global supply chain disruptions, SCB EIC anticipates that Thai exports should continue to improve in 2024.
The risk of global supply chain disruptions may re-emerge due to attacks by Houthi rebels on cargo ships in the Red Sea, leading to companies avoiding the Suez Canal route and opting for the longer route around the Cape of Good Hope. This adds 10 to 15 days to shipping time and increases freight costs and maritime insurance fees for Asian exporters.
Thai exports in December 2023 reached a value of USD 22,791.6 million, marking a 4.7%YOY increase from December 2022. Gold exports contributed significantly to this growth, with a remarkable 787.6% increase. However, excluding gold, export growth dropped to 3%YOY. Exports of mining and fuel products surged by 32.4%, while manufacturing product exports grew by 5%. Unfortunately, agricultural product exports decreased by 8.3% in December. Exports to Europe also contracted, while exports to Switzerland and the US saw mixed results.
In December, the value of imports decreased by -3.1%YOY, leading to a trade surplus of USD 972.8 million. SCB EIC predicts further export recovery in 2024, driven by improving global trade volume, growth in the international trade-related manufacturing sector, high export product prices, and support from both public and private sectors. However, there are potential risks from global supply chain disruptions, such as attacks by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea and the drought in the Panama Canal, which could impact Thai exports.