Thai exports slipped again in April by 8.0 percent YoY, which is considerably worse than the 1.3 percent YoY growth recorded in March. Excluding gold shipments, our April outward trade plunged 8.3 percent YoY. That decline is attributed to the weakening purchasing power of major trade partners. In addition, gold exports that helped support our overall export performance in recent months grew only 13.7 percent YoY in April, versus a staggering 262.5 percent growth YoY in March.
It has been found that the prospects for many Thai export categories look bleak. They include automobiles, auto-parts, machinery and integrated circuits that slipped back into negative territory during April. Meanwhile, computers/equipment/parts and electrical appliances also declined further as did the export value of crude oil, refined petroleum products, chemicals and polymers, owing to lower global crude oil prices than last year's.
Looking into the remainder of 2016, we at KResearch have assessed that, although fragile global growth may continue to dampen demand from key trade partners that are still at risk from slow economic recoveries, it is expected that pressure on our export prices will begin to ease beginning in mid-3Q16, especially if global crude oil prices are within a range of USD45-50/barrel. This, therefore, prompts us to maintain our 2016 export growth projection at 0 percent.