Thai exports exhibited improving signs in November 2020 by shrinking only 3.65%YoY compared with a 6.71%YoY contraction in October 2020. Excluding oil-related products, gold and arms, November exports contracted only 2.09%YoY.
Exports of industrial products contracted to a smaller degree at -2.9%YoY in November 2020, with cars, accessories and auto-parts reverting to growth for the first time in 9 months. Exports of agricultural products also contracted only 2.4%YoY in November 2020, mainly because exports of many agricultural products such as rice, cassava products and rubber resumed growth. Meanwhile, exports of products related to working from home and infection prevention and handling of the pandemic continued to expand.
Regarding the prospects for 2021, Thai exports will face numerous uncertainties. Although there is more optimism about the development of COVID-19 vaccines, global economic recovery still faces additional risks from the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many countries in Europe have re-imposed lockdown measures, causing the demand for imported products to decrease. Moreover, Thai exports have been pressured by the shortage of shipping containers and rising sea freight rates. At the same time, adding Thailand to the Monitoring List of the US Department of the Treasury will complicate the situation of the Baht appreciation. The more appreciation and volatility of the Baht, the greater the impact on Thai exports. Amid those risks, KResearch projects that Thai exports may grow 3.0% in 2021.
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