KResearch projects that Thailand's electronics exports will probably bounce back in 2016, though limitedly, with a value estimated at USD32.7-33.5 billion, being a range of (-)0.3 to 2.1 percent growth YoY. What we believe could inhibit electronics export growth is the way local manufacturers still keep producing computer-related merchandise, e.g., hard-drive disks (HDD), while global demand has already shifted away from such items. Expansion in exports of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and integrated circuit (IC) chips and boards as automotive components does not seem to have been able to reverse the apparent outcomes.
KResearch gathers that our HDD shipments will remain stunted by the transition to SSDs (solid-state drives) that are quickly replacing HDDs as the popular medium of digital storage. SSDs are poised to become the primary storage technology in numerous markets. One of the catalysts for bleak HDD prospects is changes in consumer behavior where the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has outgrown desktop personal computers and laptops in sales. It is projected that Thailand's HDD 2016 exports will reach only around USD15.42-15.76 billion, or an equivalent of (-)1.2 to 1 percent growth YoY.
By contrast, PCBs and ICs for automobiles are in a position to grow in line with greater role of automotive electronics, thanks to their significant relevance to the car industry. This year, PCB and IC exports should continue to grow, given global demand in cars, most notably in the US and Western Europe. KResearch forecasts that in 2016 Thailand will earn USD1.48-1.52 billion from PCB exports, a surge of 9.8-12.5 percent YoY; and USD 7.91-8.08 billion from ICs, growth of 2.1-4.3 percent YoY.
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