Thailand's export value continued to languish, with January showing a 8.9-percent YoY drop, slipping further from a 8.7 percent YoY contraction in December 2015, while the market only expected a shrinkage of perhaps 7.1 percent YoY; KResearch estimated a 7.3 percent YoY dive. Unfavorable factors from last year still gripping our outbound trade, especially a listless global economy, and low prices for agricultural products, oil and other commodities in global markets remained at lower levels over-year. Increased exports volume of rice, sugar/molasses and automobiles were not able to fully counterbalance reductions in shipments of oil products and other commodities affected by oil prices.
KResearch gathers that global oil prices will largely determine Thai export performance this year. In the event that oil-exporting countries' attempt to stabilize prices by setting realistic production levels comes to fruition, and oil prices inch upward soon, exports may resume growth in 2016. Conversely, if crude oil continues to decline, spurring export growth will be a tough test for agencies in charge. We will continue to monitor developments in the global economy as to whether our previous estimate of 2.0 percent growth will need to be revised in the coming months.