Thailand's April exports grew 10.5 percent YoY, which was much higher than the 5.6 percent growth projected by analysts, due somewhat to a low 2012 base. However, the April export value remained subdued, given various downside risks that continued to pressure shipments over-quarter, thereby limiting foreign purchase orders for Thai merchandise early in 2Q13. The Ministry of Commerce has revised downward their 2013 growth projection for Thai exports to 7.0-7.5 percent growth, from 8.0-9.0 percent before, whereas we at KResearch expect that our outward trade will grow 7.0 percent, or within 4.0-9.0 percent.
It is expected that 2Q13 exports will continue to be supported by recovering demand from Japan and a more stable Baht around the middle of this quarter, but we have also assessed that exports overall will continue to be threatened by subdued economies in the Eurozone, China and the US, thus making it more difficult to sustain export growth of 4.3 percent as achieved in 1Q13. Nevertheless, many export categories will continue to grow in value, e.g., automobiles, computers, electronics, machinery, industrial equipment and iron plus related products, but exporters of agricultural produce, agro-processed products and various other food products will have to adjust very quickly to maintain market shares abroad.
Meanwhile, if Thai export growth continues to pick up during 2H13 along with expected improvements in global economic conditions and a more stable Baht, KResearch has assessed that shipments during 2H13 will likely improve, helping bolster 2013 exports to grow at perhaps 7 percent, or within 4.0-9.0 percent, which would be higher than the 3.1 percent growth achieved in 2012.