According to the Ministry of Commerce, the value of Thai exports edged up again in September, growing at 0.2 percent YoY, which is fairly consistent with KResearch's projection at 0.0 percent YoY. However, it may be too early to say that overall Thai exports have begun to recover, as higher shipments of gold and some commodities would unlikely sustain export growth momentum in coming months. This is because there have been few fundamental changes globally, e.g., improving economic conditions for Thailand's key trade partners, that would warrant such a recovery in the Thai export sector.
Given this, we at KResearch maintain our assessment that Thailand's outward trade will unlikely recover substantially in 2012, given fragility foreseen in the global economy in 4Q12 and likely continuing into early 2013. However, a low 2011 base due to the massive flooding then and increased international orders during the holiday season, should help catapult the value of Thai exports higher than 25.0 percent growth YoY in 4Q12. Such performance would be adequate to sustain Thai exports in 2012 at 5.0 percent growth overall, or be within a range of 3.0-7.0 percent, as projected by KResearch.
For 2013, KResearch has assessed that if the global economy can overcome a number of challenges during 1H13, then it could become more stable, which, in turn, would help support Thai exports. Shipments to some markets may recover in early 2013, e.g., to China, as their economy will likely rebound faster than other key trade partners. If the global economy becomes more stable as hoped, it is certain that some Thai export categories, e.g., automobiles, electronics and agricultural produce, will improve, thus helping bolster our overall export performance next year.