Thailand's outward trade grew steadily for the ninth consecutive month in November, thus sending 11M17 export performance to 10.0 percent growth YoY, thanks to the recovering global economy and trade, a cyclical upturn in the electronics industry and thriving Internet of Things (IoTs) devices.
Looking into 2018, factors supporting Thai exports during 2017 will likely continue into 2018, meaning that our shipments should grow steadily, though they might be inhibited by a high 2017 base, decelerating increases in crude oil prices, unfavorable global commodity prices as a result of surpluses and slight declines in global electronics prices. From that perspective, 2018 export growth could slip to 4.5 percent YoY, or between 2.0-7.0 percent.
Close attention should be paid to factors that will help support our 2018 exports, e.g., international trade tariffs per the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), an expected cut in China's export tariffs, as well as the Philippines' plan to cancel their rice import quotas and impose a 35 percent tariff rate on rice imports instead. However, volatility in global crude oil prices may dent the value of Thai exports related to oil prices. Also, the Thai Baht could become more volatile because leading central banks are expected to tighten their monetary policies, hence affecting global capital movements.