The value of Thai exports during December 2016 reported substantial growth for the second consecutive month. Thus, our 2016 outward trade reverted to growth for the first time in four years at 0.45 percent higher YoY. That impressive December export performance was due partly to a low 2015 base and continuing growth seen in many major export categories, e.g., gold, electrical appliances, petrochemicals and related products, buoyed by an upswing in global crude oil prices.
In 2017, many major export categories should continue to perform well from 2016, e.g., foods, automobiles, plus auto equipment and components, thanks to strong demand from Oceania, North America and Asia. Shipments of petrochemicals and related products will likely resume growth, too, supported by rising global crude oil prices.
Given the high growth reported for the final two months of 2016, driven by a recovery in overseas demand and favorable commodity prices, it is expected that our 2017 outward trade will advance further. Pending an assessment on new US trade policies, we at KResearch, thus, maintain our 2017 growth projection for Thai exports at 0.8 percent YoY, or within a range of (-)0.5-2.5 percent YoY.