Amid uncertainties due to a looming trade war over the past 2-3 months, Thai exports in May 2018 grew for a 15th straight month by 11.4 percent YoY, reaching or USD22.257 billion and driving Thailand's outbound shipments in the first five months (Jan-May) of 2018 to increase by 11.6 percent YoY. The export rise in May is attributed to an ongoing recovery of the global economy, a sharp increase in global crude oil prices in May and higher rice and tapioca-product prices, when compared to the levels registered in the same period last year.
KResearch views that the trade war between the US and China may have a limited positive impact on Thai exports in the remainder of 2018. However, it is expected to upset Thai outbound trade through a lower global trade volume in 2019. On cautionary note, if the trade spat escalates beyond this round of tariff increases, Thai exports may be adversely affected, pending additional product lists subject to punitive tariffs to be announced.