Thailand’s largest shippers group expects export growth of a mere 5% next year amid the deepening trade war between the US and China, despite the 90-day ceasefire.
Chairwoman of the Thai National Shippers' Council (TNSC) Ghanyapad Tantipipatpong has stated that export growth in 2019 will be much lower than the lofty 8% outlook set by the Commerce Ministry: “Shippers are concerned about the uncertain trade policy between the two giant economies and the effect it has on slowing the global economy. Their argument affects the entire world supply chain and Thailand cannot avoid being a part of the supply chain because the country is a global manufacturing hub."
Ms Ghanyapad added that low crop prices will pressure trade through next year. The Commerce Ministry has projected export growth of 8% to US$276 billion in 2019, or an average of $23 billion per month.
The 2019 export growth target for each market consists of Southeast Asia at 8.3%, China and Hong Kong at 12%, South Asia at 8%, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States at 10%, East Asia at 7%, the EU at 3%, North America at 6.1%, the Middle East at 3%, Latin America at 6% and Australia at 6%.
For 2018, the TNSC estimates export growth of 8% under the assumption that the baht averages 33 to the US dollar and a positive influence will come from the online platform.