Thailand's global trade value in April 2018 dropped into negative territory, with a trade deficit of USD1.283 billion – the highest in 43 months. This was due to an import expansion of 20.4 percent YoY, partly caused by surging oil prices in world markets and accelerated imports of products for export-oriented manufacturing over the past couple of months. Meanwhile, our exports grew 12.3 percent YoY, on account of continual improvements in our trade partners' economies, and global oil prices that have reached almost USD80/barrel, thus boosting the value of petroleum-related exports, accordingly.
KResearch anticipates that Thai exports over the remaining eight months of 2018 will likely maintain positive growth from the first four months, in line with the global economy that has continued to pick up strongly. In addition, commodity prices have tended to be above the levels recorded last year. A vow of the US and China that they will no longer attempt any trade battle and that a trade war will not occur should help stabilize the volatility in the global marketplace. Taking into consideration these factors, Thai exports for 2018 could grow approximately 8.0 percent YoY. KResearch is preparing a review of the Thai export growth forecast, which is now in the range of 2.0-7.0 percent.