Thai October 2013 exports fell (-)0.7 percent YoY. Although this figure was lower than previous analysts' projection of a 0.7-percent gain, October performance was better than September – when our exports contracted (-)7.1 percent YoY – the improvement being due to rising orders from major markets, e.g., China, the EU and US. However, this contraction contributed to a 10-month (10M13) performance of a (-)0.02 percent drop YoY.
Given that some primary exports will likely ‘make do' despite this situation, coupled with seasonal momentum and a low 2012 base of comparison, Thai outward trade around the yearend should return to growth. Despite that, key trade partners are still only slowly advancing toward recovery, and many of our exports are struggling to make headway because of various obstacles. These factors will perhaps weigh on our 4Q13 shipments – expansion seems a bit dubious. With this in mind, combined with the fact that the export sector's efforts to recover were unsuccessful throughout the first three quarters of 2013 (9M13), we at KResearch projects that our 2013 outward trade may grow minimally 0.5 percent YoY, down from 3.0 percent YoY in 2012.
Exports to China and the US have gradually improved (despite the US government shutdown October 1-16). This may suggest that things are looking up for Thai exports since some agricultural products may benefit from brighter outlooks in those economies, which could also boost the performance of other trade partners in 2014. KResearch thus forecasts that our exports will perhaps rise 7.0 percent YoY, or be somewhere between 5.0-9.0 percent YoY in 2014.
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