Skyrocketing gold exports supported Thai shipments to shrink at a slower pace in June 2019. Thailand's June outward trade reached USD21,409.3 million, representing a contraction for the fourth consecutive month at 2.15 percent YoY. The shrinkage, however, was slower than those reported during the preceding three months due partly to the 317.4 percent YoY surge in gold exports. Excluding gold shipments, Thai exports overall contracted 8.7 percent YoY, led largely by major export categories to all key markets.
During 1H19, Thailand's outward trade contracted 2.9 percent YoY to an average of USD20,495.1 million/month, attributable chiefly to the global economic downturn and impact of the US-China trade war, which has dampened the international trade following their tariff hikes in May 2019. Looking into 2H19, although prospects in international trade may not improve after the US and China have resumed their negotiations, tension between the two superpowers will unlikely get worse because the US has become more cautious in various trade measures. In addition, it is expected that the US and China will introduce new monetary measures to help reinvigorate their economies and this may help sustain the global economy somewhat. These factors along with a low base of 2H18 have led KResearch to maintain our 2019 growth projection for Thai exports at 0.0 percent. However, we will continue to monitor a number of issues that may affect our shipments during the remainder of 2019, including the Baht's movements that may undermine our export competitiveness, El Niño conditions that may affect agricultural shipments and uncertainty over the US-China trade dispute.