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27 Sep 2021


COVID-19 Pandemic Dented Thailand’s August Export Growth to 8.93%, but 2021 Shipments Set to Grow at 12.4% (Business Brief No.3952)


  • In August 2021, the COVID-19 situation in many Asian countries became much worse due to the highly contagious Delta variant. As a result, their economic activity and manufacturing sectors were adversely affected, thus pressuring their export performances. Thailand's exports were not spared by that impact either as they grew only 8.93 percent in August, a decline from the 20.30 percent growth reported for July.
  • As the economic activity of Thailand's key trade partners was experiencing increased pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic, Thai shipments to those countries grew at a slow rate during August. Exports to the US increased only 16.20 percent, against the 22.20 percent recorded in July. Thailand's outward trade to CLMV countries reverted to a contraction for the first time in six months at 0.03 percent after shipments to Vietnam reported a sharp shrinkage again (-17.2 percent) as the worsening COVID-19 situation had prompted Vietnam to impose stringent lockdown measures.
  • KResearch maintains our 2021 growth forecast for Thai exports at 12.4 percent. We view that the export sector will continue to be a key economic driver during the remainder of 2021. Although the Thai export sector remains exposed to risks of the spread of COVID-19 in factories, the government's assistance measures, and solid economic recovery seen in major trade partners will likely help bolster demand for Thai products. It is expected that Thai shipments will continue to record high growth during the final four months of 2021, albeit at a slower rate compared to that reported during the first eight months of 2021, due to the low base of last year, and the fact that pent-up demand has eased. ​