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4 Feb 2020


2020 Car Exports: Shrinking at Least 3% as Thailand’s Trade Partner Economies Hurt by Novel Coronavirus Outbreaks (Current Issue No.3079)


           2020 may be another difficult year for Thai car exports. Despite a positive factor, i.e., a likelihood that the Baht may not be as strong as that seen in 2019, there are a number of factors that may inevitably cause Thai car shipments to shrink in 2020. These include economic problems continuing from last year, the fact that Australia, being our key trade partners, is being gripped by bushfires, and the current novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) outbreaks that may adversely affect tourism in our trade partners, in particular Vietnam and the Philippines, being our second and third largest car export markets, with relatively high number of Chinese tourist arrivals and high tourism income to GDP ratios.

            KResearch has assessed our 2020 Thai car exports to our trade partners based on the impact of the 2019-nCov outbreaks on their tourism, as follows:

If the Chinese governmen​t is able to contain the spread of the 2019-nCov epidemic within the country in one month with no outbreaks seen abroad, we expect that Thai car exports may reach 1,005,000 -1,025,000 units, contracting over 3-5 percent YoY.

                ​If the 2019-nCov epidemic in China persists for about 1-3 months with no outbreaks seen abroad, we expect that Thai car shipments may shrink 5-7 percent o 985,000-1,005,000 units. Such projections, however, do not take into account other factors. If the 2019-nCov epidemic causes China's key economic sectors into a stalemate, this may have a ripple effect on other economies, meaning that 2020 Thai car exports may record a steeper contraction.