Thailand’s Top 10 Exports

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by free-picture.net

Located in the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula, the Kingdom of Thailand shipped US$236 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a 3.3% gain since 2013 and a 10.5% increase from 2016 to 2017.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Thailand’s exported goods plus services represent 70.4% of total Thai economic output or Gross Domestic Product. Please note that the overall value of exported goods and services includes a sizable share of re-exports. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, 63.9% of Thai exports by value are delivered to fellow Asian countries while 13.1% are sold to North American importers. Thailand ships another 12.5% worth to Europe with just 2.9% going to Africa.

Given Thailand’s population of about 68.4 million people, its total $236 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $3,500 for every resident in that country.

Thailand’s unemployment rate was 0.8% as of December 2016 according to Trading Economics, up from 0.65% one year earlier.

Thailand’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Thai global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Thailand.

  1. Machinery including computers: US$40.2 billion (17% of total exports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $34.1 billion (14.4%)
  3. Vehicles: $28.5 billion (12.1%)
  4. Rubber, rubber articles: $16.3 billion (6.9%)
  5. Gems, precious metals: $12.8 billion (5.4%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: $12.7 billion (5.4%)
  7. Mineral fuels including oil: $8.2 billion (3.5%)
  8. Meat/seafood preparations: $6.3 billion (2.7%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $5.7 billion (2.4%)
  10. Cereals: $5.4 billion (2.3%)

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Thailand’s Most Valuable Export Products further down near the bottom of this article.

Thailand’s top 10 exports accounted for almost three-quarters (72.1%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Fastest-growing product categories year over year were rubber and rubber articles (up 33.8%), mineral fuels including oil (up 31.8%), and cereals (up 17.1%) specifically higher global sales of rice.

Only the gems and precious metals category declined in value via a -9.6% setback caused principally by the lower value of exported Thai gold.

Advantages

Thailand earned an overall $10.9 billion trade surplus for 2017, down -39.1% from $17.9 billion during 2016.

The following types of Thai product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Vehicles: US$19.3 billion (Up by 5.1% since 2016)
  2. Rubber, rubber articles: $13.7 billion (Up by 37.5%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $12.9 billion (Up by 17.7%)
  4. Meat/seafood preparations: $6 billion (Up by 6.8%)
  5. Cereals: $4.7 billion (Up by 32.3%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: $4 billion (Up by 19.8%)
  7. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $2.7 billion (Up by 10.5%)
  8. Wood: $2.3 billion (Up by 21.3%)
  9. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $2 billion (Down by -3%)
  10. Miscellaneous food preparations: $1.4 billion (Up by 13.3%)

Thailand has highly positive net exports in the international trade of automobiles with cars and trucks creating larger surpluses than auto parts and motorcycles. These cashflows indicate Thailand’s strong competitive advantages under the vehicles product category.

Opportunities

Below are exports from Thailand that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Thailand’s goods trail Thai importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: -US$23.4 billion (Up by 27.4% since 2016)
  2. Iron, steel: -$9.3 billion (Up by 8.5%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$8.2 billion (Down by -6.4%)
  4. Other chemical goods: -$2.9 billion (Up by 34.5%)
  5. Articles of iron or steel: -$2.8 billion (Up by 10.2%)
  6. Aircraft, spacecraft: -$2.6 billion (Up by 54.8%)
  7. Gems, precious metals: -$2.4 billion (Reversing a $5.5 billion surplus)
  8. Copper: -$2.1 billion (Up by 23%)
  9. Aluminum: -$1.9 billion (Up by 16.7%)
  10. Pharmaceuticals: -$1.8 billion (Up by 6.2%)

Thailand has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for the mineral fuels category. Under that category Thailand’s greatest shortfalls are for crude oil, petroleum gases and coal.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Thailand’s competitive disadvantages in the international fossil fuel market, but also represent key opportunities for Thailand to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations in alternative energy sources.

Companies

Thai Export Companies

Fifteen Thai corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. Below is a sample of the major companies headquartered in Thailand that Forbes included:

  • PTT PCL (energy)
  • Siam Cement (specialized chemicals)
  • PTT Global Chemical (diversified chemicals)
  • Thai Beverage (beverages)
  • Thai Oil (oil, gas)
  • Total Access Communication (telecommunications)

According to global trade intelligence firm Zepol, the following companies are examples of smaller Thai exporters:

  • Dole Thailand (pineapples, plastic boxes/cases, fruit mixtures)
  • Thai Agri Foods Public (non-alcoholic beverages, nuts, fruit/vegetable juices)
  • Dana Spicer Thailand (automotive parts, latex, rubber transmission belts)
  • Minson Enterprises Thailand (footwear, skates, sporting equipment)
  • British Millerain Thailand (textile fabrics, vulcanized rubber, coconut yarn)


 

Searchable List of Thailand’s Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Thailand’s top export products are computers followed by cars, electronic integrated circuits then automobile parts or accessories.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from Thailand during 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

RankThailand Export Product2017 Value (US$)Change
1Computers, optical readers$11.8 billion+12.5%
2Cars$10.9 billion-6.5%
3Integrated circuits/microassemblies$8.3 billion+7.6%
4Automobile parts/accessories$7.7 billion+11.5%
5Trucks$7.3 billion+13%
6Processed petroleum oils$6.1 billion+26.7%
7Natural rubber$6 billion+36.5%
8Gold (unwrought)$5.7 billion-21.3%
9Rice$5.2 billion+18.1%
10Air conditioners$4.8 billion-0.6%
11Rubber tires (new)$4.4 billion+23.4%
12Phone system devices including smartphones $4.2 billion+71.2%
13Jewelry$3.7 billion+3.3%
14Ethylene polymers$3.3 billion+9%
15Printing machinery$3 billion+1.5%
16Computer parts, accessories$2.9 billion-9%
17Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)$2.7 billion+4%
18Sugar (cane or beet)$2.6 billion+13.8%
19Miscellaneous meat (preserved/prepared)$2.5 billion+10.7%
20Synthetic rubber$2.5 billion+107.2%
21Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$2.1 billion+11.6%
22Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$2 billion+38.1%
23Air or vacuum pumps$2 billion-8.1%
24Refrigerators, freezers$1.9 billion+3.2%
25Lower-voltage switches, fuses$1.7 billion+20.7%
26Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$1.7 billion+4.2%
27Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$1.7 billion+35.5%
28Electrical converters/power units$1.6 billion+14.3%
29Engines (diesel)$1.6 billion+5.4%
30Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$1.6 billion-6%
31Washing machines$1.5 billion+43.1%
32Sawn wood$1.5 billion+30.7%
33Motorcycles$1.5 billion+24.8%
34Piston engines$1.5 billion+32.5%
35TV receivers/monitors/projectors$1.5 billion+8.7%
36Miscellaneous iron or steel items$1.4 billion+14.1%
37Electrical machinery$1.4 billion-9.6%
38Transmission apparatus (radio/TV)$1.4 billion-2.2%
39Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$1.4 billion+11.7%
40Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)$1.4 billion+49%
41Printed circuits$1.4 billion+11.1%
42Non-alcoholic drinks (not water/juice/milk)$1.3 billion+14.3%
43Piston engine parts$1.3 billion+24.8%
44Other food preparations$1.3 billion+11.6%
45Miscellaneous plastic items$1.2 billion+22.4%
46Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung)$1.2 billion+13.2%
47Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$1.2 billion+6.9%
48Cyclic hydrocarbons$1.2 billion+19.9%
49Crustaceans (including lobsters)$1.2 billion+7.5%
50Propylene/olefin polymers$1.1 billion+11.6%
51Insulated wire/cable$1.1 billion+8.5%
52Roots/tubers of manioc, artichokes, sweet potatoes$1.1 billion-3.2%
53Crustaceans/molluscs (prepared/preserved)$1.1 billion+4.2%
54Light vessels, fire boats, floating docks$1.1 billion+14.2%
55Clothing, accessories (vulcanized rubber)$1.1 billion+10.9%
56Starches, inulin$1 billion-9.3%
57Miscellaneous preserved fruits$998.3 million-3.2%
58Optical fiber cables, sheets, plates$973.2 million+5.8%
59Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation)$965.5 million+51.5%
60Electric motors, generators$874.4 million-7.1%
61Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$862.5 million+7.3%
62Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$848.9 million+53.3%
63Telecommunication receivers$829.6 million-14.1%
64Electric water heaters, hair dryers$764.5 million-4.2%
65Hair preparations$748.6 million-2%
66Vulcanized rubber items$731.7 million+13.4%
67Taps, valves, similar appliances$709.4 million+7.1%
68TV/radio/radar device parts$702.8 million+33%
69Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$700.2 million+54.2%
70Crude oil$694.9 million+39.7%
71Liquid pumps and elevators$689.7 million+9%
72Aircraft, spacecraft$668.2 million+9.2%
73Polycarboxylic acids$658.7 million+11.7%
74Fruit and vegetable juices$656.7 million-11%
75Sauces, mixed condiments, seasonings$652.8 million+10.3%
76Copper wire$642.2 million+88.6%
77Dextrins, other modified starches$623.8 million+1.4%
78Poultry meat$610.9 million+19.5%
79Styrene polymers$606.6 million+27.8%
80Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$596.6 million+6.8%
81Aircraft parts$587 million+38.6%
82Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$570.2 million+8.4%
83Motorcycle parts/accessories$567.1 million+10%
84Hydraulic cements$550 million-10.2%
85Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$546.9 million+15.9%
86Wood fiberboard$542.2 million+12.6%
87Uncoated paper for writing/printing$538.5 million+5%
88Ball, roller bearings$533.8 million+11.6%
89Lenses, prisms, mirrors$515.6 million+6.2%
90Electric storage batteries$508.1 million+50.6%
91Regulate/control instruments$505.7 million+16.3%
92Base metal mountings, fittings$495.4 million-0.2%
93Vinyl chloride polymers$494.3 million+32.3%
94Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$481.9 million+16.2%
95Acyclic hydrocarbons$463 million+86.2%
96Synthetic staple fibers$450.3 million+22.2%
97Synthetic filament yarn$447.7 million+7.9%
98Pasta, couscous$442.1 million+6.3%
99Turbo-jets$442 million+6.4%
100Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$425.8 million+25.2%
101Sports equipment$416 million+2.5%
102Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$412.1 million+7.5%
103Miscellaneous furniture$402 million-9.6%
104Other animal leather$400.5 million-11.8%
105Copper waste, scrap$394.6 million+50%
106Particle board, other ligneous materials$387.4 million+19.7%
107Dried fruit$381.9 million+36.3%
108Electric ignition/start equipment$380.3 million+12.6%
109Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$378.3 million+8.4%
110Bridge structures, parts$375.7 million-0.3%
111Moluscs$373.7 million+5.9%
112Other organic cleaning preparations$366.7 million+10%
113Lifting/handling/loading machinery (e.g. escalators)$362.3 million-7.2%
114Medication mixes in dosage$362.1 million+13.2%
115Unsaturated acyclic mono acids$358 million+59.9%
116Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$357.8 million+8.1%
117Vulcanized rubber tubes, pipes$349.5 million+15.5%
118Synthetic yarn woven fabrics$344.3 million+15.1%
119Imitation jewelry$341.2 million-15.8%
120Unrecorded sound media$334.7 million+2%
121Phenols/phenol-alcohols$333.5 million+34.5%
122Unvulcanized compounded rubber$330.6 million+2.2%
123T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$328.7 million+0.4%
124Tractors$310.6 million+9.6%
125Chemical industry products/residuals$301.2 million+2.1%
126Interchangeable hand/machine tools$298.4 million+19%
127Oral/dental hygiene preparations$297.9 million+6.1%
128Other prepared/preserved vegetables (non-frozen)$297.8 million+0.1%
129Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations$295.6 million+4%
130Vulcanized rubber thread, cord$293.9 million+26.3%
131Microphones/headphones/amps$292.8 million+6.7%
132Cases, handbags, wallets$292.4 million+2.9%
133Footwear (leather)$290.2 million+6.1%
134Electrical capacitators$287.5 million+17.1%
135Epoxides$283.4 million+22.4%
136Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$282.4 million+68%
137Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$279.6 million-54.8%
138Harvest/threshing machinery$277.7 million-1.6%
139Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$270.2 million-2.7%
140Uncoated paper in rolls$268.1 million+15.4%
141Warships, lifeboats$267.6 million+296.9%
142Wrist/pocket watches (no precious metal case)$256.6 million-3.9%
143Iron or steel pipe fittings$256.4 million+10.9%
144Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$255.2 million+47.2%
145Amino-compounds (oxygen)$254.7 million-0.4%
146Sugar-preserved vegetables, fruits, nuts, peels$252.8 million+8.5%
147Copper tubes, pipes$251.5 million-1.6%
148Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners$249.7 million-4.9%
149Fish fillets, pieces$249.2 million-11.5%
150Personal toilet/shaving preparations, deodorants$249.2 million+1.5%
151Individual-function machines/mechanical appliances$248.1 million+16.3%
152Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$244.4 million+66.5%
153Petroleum gases$243.9 million+165.6%
154Polyamides$243.6 million+16.7%
155Iron or steel scrap$243.5 million+37.4%
156Acyclic alcohols$239.2 million+20.8%
157Machinery parts$234.5 million+16.9%
158Paper containers, cellulose wadding$233.9 million+9.6%
159Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$232.9 million+36.4%
160Soaps, organic surface-active products$231.8 million+7.5%
161Iron or steel containers for liquefied gas$228.1 million+10.5%
162Sound record/reproducin parts, accessories$227.5 million-27.2%
163Coated/laminated non-wovens$226.9 million+8.7%
164Iron and steel stoves, barbecues$224.1 million+18.9%
165Carboxylic acids$224 million+14.5%
166Plastic tableware, kitchenware, toiletry$223.6 million+1.7%
167Miscellaneous aluminum items$223.1 million+10.1%
168Other than warp-knit fabrics$222.7 million+13.8%
169Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust$219.5 million-16.7%
170Uncombed artificial staple fibers$216.8 million+7.2%
171Palm oil$216.7 million+428.8%
172Synthetic organic coloring matter$214.6 million-13.4%
173Bras, corsets (not knit or crochet)$212.9 million+5.2%
174Iron and steel stranded wire, cables (uninsulated)$209.5 million+17%
175Women's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)$209.5 million-2.9%
176Transport containers including for fluids$201.8 million-54.1%
177Silicones$201.1 million+19.4%
178Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$200.7 million-5%
179Speed/distance meters$199.2 million+31.7%
180Special apparatus parts$198.8 million+22%
181Miscellaneous machine electrical parts$197.9 million-3.2%
182Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$194.7 million-3.6%
183Copper bars, rods$193.1 million+23%
184Electric generating sets, converters$189.7 million+3.8%
185Corn$186.1 million-2.6%
186Moulding boxes/base$182.3 million+4.8%
187Ceramic sins, washbasins, baths$181.6 million+5.1%
188Salted/dried/smoked meat$180.7 million-3%
189Iron or steel tubes, pipes$180.6 million+77.7%
190Gypsum, plasters$178.8 million-6.8%
191Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$174.6 million+3.5%
192Electrical resistors$173.2 million+5.4%
193Base metal locks$172.8 million+15.8%
194Acrylic polymers$172 million+6.7%
195Plastics waste, scrap$168 million+6.8%
196Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$167.8 million+93.5%
197Ceramics for technical uses$167.4 million+13.6%
198Vulcanized rubber hygiene/pharma items$165.8 million+15.8%
199Woven cotton fabrics$165.7 million-4.2%
200Other measuring/testing machines$164.5 million+23.7%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$207.8 billion or almost 90% by value for all products exported from Thailand during 2017.

See also Thailand’s Top 10 Major Export Companies, Thailand’s Top Trading Partners and Top Asian Export Countries

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on August 13, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on August 13, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on August 13, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 13, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Thailand. Accessed on August 13, 2018

Zepol’scompany summary highlights by country. Accessed on August 13, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 13, 2018