Thailand: Export growth to shrink

  • Thailand’s exports are expected to see the lowest growth in three years because of the Sino-US trade row, a global economic slowdown and the strengthening THB.
  • Aat Pisanwanich, director of the Center for International Trade Studies at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), said the latest study puts export growth in 2019 at 4.4% to USD263bn (THB8.24tr), citing trade war as a main factor in influencing 2019’s export growth.
  • The estimates for 2019 assume that the THB averages 32 to the USD, with global GDP growth of 3.5%, Dubai crude oil prices of USD60 per barrel, no further tariff restrictions between China and the US, and a marginal impact from Brexit.
  • He said that if the trade war escalates, with the US raising import tariffs on Chinese goods from the existing USD200bn, Thai export growth may contract by up to 1.9%, with export volume down USD4.427bn (THB141bn). In the worse-case scenario, export growth is forecast as low as 3.2%.
  • Meanwhile, he also said that the THB’s movements also demand a close watch.

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