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25 Mar 2016


February Exports Rose 10.27% YoY on Gold, Anomalies (Business Brief No.3613)

Thailand's exports in February 2016 resumed growth for the first time in 14 months, primarily on gold and other special items. According to the Ministry of Commerce's latest foreign trade statistics, February shipments posted a surge of 10.27 percent YoY, a performance that was the first increase in 14 months and the highest monthly value in three years.
This noteworthy growth, however, was catalyzed by intra-month anomalies, comprising 1) record-high gold exports that skyrocketed 1,051 percent to a total of USD1.89 billion in value; and, 2) re-export of helicopters and vehicles worth USD638 million used in joint military exercises. Therefore, without oil, gold and anomalies, our shipments in February would still be caught in a contraction of 2.00 percent YoY.

The outlook for 2016, given a small increase of 0.67 percent YoY during the first two months, may not seem so bright. For our outbound trade to achieve an over-year expansion, an export value of USD18 billion a month must be realized over the remaining 10 months, though during that first two months, Thailand grossed only USD17.35 billion per month. In light of this, any hope for Thai exports to improve significantly would seem futile because of the ongoing turmoil in global trade and economy. Our key exports also face serious challenges in regaining grounds as long as orders from major importers such as China, the US and EU remain limited.