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$249.8 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 9.8% gain since 2014 and a 5.8% increase from 2017 to 2018.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Thailand’s exported goods plus services represent 68.2% 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, about three-quarters (65.1%) of Thai exports by value are delivered to fellow Asian countries while 12.9% are sold to North American importers. Thailand ships another 11.6% worth to Europe and 5.1% to Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand. Smaller percentages arrived in Africa (2.9%) and Latin America (2.1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.

Given Thailand’s population of about 68.6 million people, its total $249.8 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $3,600 for every resident in the East Asian country.

Thailand’s unemployment rate was 0.9% as of December 2018 according to Trading Economics.

Thailand’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Thai global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Thailand.

  1. Machinery including computers: US$42.9 billion (17.2% of total exports)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: $35 billion (14%)
  3. Vehicles: $30.4 billion (12.2%)
  4. Rubber, rubber articles: $15.5 billion (6.2%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: $14.5 billion (5.8%)
  6. Gems, precious metals: $11.9 billion (4.8%)
  7. Mineral fuels including oil: $10.6 billion (4.2%)
  8. Meat/seafood preparations: $6.6 billion (2.6%)
  9. Organic chemicals: $6.1 billion (2.5%)
  10. Cereals: $5.7 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 (71.8%) of the overall value of its global shipments.

Year-over-year, the fastest-growing product categories were exported organic chemicals (up 31%), mineral fuels including oil (up 28.2%), then plastics and plastic items (up 14.3%).

Two product categories declined, namely gems and precious metals category (down -7%) and rubber including articles made from rubber (down -4.7%).

Advantages

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$20.2 billion (Up by 4.6% since 2017)
  2. Machinery including computers: $13.4 billion (Up by 3.8%)
  3. Rubber, rubber articles: $12.7 billion (Down by -7%)
  4. Meat/seafood preparations: $6.3 billion (Up by 3.9%)
  5. Cereals: $4.9 billion (Up by 4.5%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: $4.9 billion (Up by 21.2%)
  7. Sugar, sugar confectionery: $2.7 billion (Down by -0.1%)
  8. Wood: $2 billion (Down by -13.8%)
  9. Fruits, nuts: $1.9 billion (Up by 36.2%)
  10. Vegetable/fruit/nut preparations: $1.8 billion (Down by -9%)

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

Thailand incurred an overall -$1.1 billion trade deficit for 2017, reversing $10.9 billion in black ink one year earlier.

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$32.2 billion (Up by 37.5% since 2017)
  2. Iron, steel: -$11 billion (Up by 18.4%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$10.6 billion (Up by 28.9%)
  4. Gems, precious metals: -$4 billion (Up by 65.5%)
  5. Other chemical goods: -$3.1 billion (Up by 5.6%)
  6. Articles of iron or steel: -$2.8 billion (Down by -0.2%)
  7. Copper: -$2.3 billion (Up by 10.2%)
  8. Aluminum: -$2.05 billion (Up by 9%)
  9. Aircraft, spacecraft: -$2.05 billion (Down by -22.6%)
  10. Pharmaceuticals: -$2.02 billion (Up by 14.1%)

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 2018. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2017.

RankThailand's Export Product2018 Value (US$)Change
1Computers, optical readers$12.7 billion+8.2%
2Cars$11.1 billion+2%
3Automobile parts/accessories$8.5 billion+10.3%
4Integrated circuits/microassemblies$8.3 billion+0.2%
5Processed petroleum oils$8.2 billion+34.5%
6Trucks$7.8 billion+7.4%
7Rice$5.6 billion+8%
8Air conditioners$5.3 billion+10.6%
9Rubber tires (new)$4.9 billion+11.6%
10Natural rubber$4.6 billion-24.2%
11Phone system devices including smartphones$4.4 billion+5.5%
12Gold (unwrought)$4.4 billion-23.4%
13Jewelry$3.9 billion+5.2%
14Ethylene polymers$3.8 billion+15.9%
15Printing machinery$3.1 billion+3.6%
16Fish, caviar (preserved/prepared)$3 billion+11.2%
17Computer parts, accessories$2.7 billion-6.2%
18Miscellaneous meat (preserved/prepared)$2.7 billion+6.3%
19Sugar (cane or beet)$2.6 billion-0.2%
20Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$2.5 billion+19.1%
21Synthetic rubber$2.4 billion-2%
22Piston engines$2.2 billion+50.9%
23Air or vacuum pumps$2.1 billion+7.9%
24Cyclic hydrocarbons$1.9 billion+63.5%
25Electrical converters/power units$1.8 billion+15.8%
26Refrigerators, freezers$1.8 billion-4.7%
27Solar power diodes/semi-conductors$1.8 billion-10.1%
28Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$1.8 billion+5.8%
29Lower-voltage switches, fuses$1.7 billion-2.6%
30Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$1.7 billion+7.3%
31Engines (diesel)$1.6 billion+0.2%
32Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$1.6 billion+13.9%
33Miscellaneous fruits (fresh)$1.6 billion+16.1%
34Miscellaneous iron or steel items$1.5 billion+5.9%
35Piston engine parts$1.5 billion+19.6%
36Propylene/olefin polymers$1.5 billion+34.4%
37Motorcycles$1.5 billion-1.8%
38Non-alcoholic drinks (not water/juice/milk)$1.4 billion+11.9%
39TV receivers/monitors/projectors$1.4 billion-3.1%
40Electrical machinery$1.4 billion-0.3%
41Printed circuits$1.4 billion+2.6%
42Washing machines$1.4 billion-10.3%
43Starches, inulin$1.4 billion+32.5%
44TV receiver/transmit/digital cameras$1.4 billion-4.6%
45Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$1.3 billion+8.5%
46Other food preparations$1.3 billion+1.3%
47Precious/semi-precious stones (unstrung)$1.2 billion+2.3%
48Sawn wood$1.2 billion-18.8%
49Insulated wire/cable$1.2 billion+9.9%
50Clothing, accessories (vulcanized rubber)$1.2 billion+11.9%
51Miscellaneous plastic items$1.2 billion-3.9%
52Light vessels, fire boats, floating docks$1.1 billion+7.6%
53Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$1.1 billion-34.5%
54Optical fiber cables, sheets, plates$1.1 billion+9.9%
55Crustaceans (including lobsters)$1.1 billion-9.4%
56Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$942.3 million+9.3%
57Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$913.2 million+30.4%
58Crustaceans, molluscs (preserved/prepared)$901.8 million-16%
59Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation)$899.7 million-6.8%
60Manioc roots, Jerusalem artichokes$896.8 million-16.7%
61Miscellaneous preserved fruits$893.4 million-10.5%
62Telecommunication receivers$852.4 million+2.7%
63Electric motors, generators$852 million-2.6%
64Polycarboxylic acids$851.2 million+29.2%
65Electric water heaters, hair dryers$837.4 million+9.5%
66Hair preparations$819.6 million+9.5%
67Crude oil$817.8 million+17.7%
68Styrene polymers$787.6 million+29.8%
69Vulcanized rubber items$777.8 million+6.3%
70Taps, valves, similar appliances$769.9 million+8.5%
71Dextrins, other modified starches$761.3 million+22%
72TV/radio/radar device parts$750.5 million+6.8%
73Sauces, mixed condiments, seasonings$734.2 million+12.5%
74Liquid pumps and elevators$729.7 million+5.8%
75Copper wire$720.2 million+12.1%
76Poultry meat$697.7 million+14.2%
77Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$636.2 million-25%
78Hydraulic cements$633.8 million+15.2%
79Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs)$633.5 million+6.2%
80Motorcycle parts/accessories$632.9 million+11.6%
81Ball, roller bearings$629.7 million+18%
82Iron and steel screws, bolts, nuts, washers$614.2 million+12.3%
83Regulate/control instruments$610.5 million+20.7%
84Electro-medical equip (e.g. xrays)$602.9 million+5.7%
85Ligneous fiberboard$601.3 million+10.9%
86Uncombed synthetic staple fibers$595.1 million+32.2%
87Fruit and vegetable juices$589.2 million-10.3%
88Electrical lighting/signaling equpment, defrosters$588 million+22%
89Aircraft parts$580.3 million-1.1%
90Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$576.6 million+52.4%
91Acyclic hydrocarbons$570.9 million+23.3%
92Lenses, prisms, mirrors$550.1 million+6.7%
93Electric storage batteries$536.5 million+5.6%
94Uncoated paper for writing/printing$535.5 million-0.6%
95Phenols/phenol-alcohols$518.2 million+55.4%
96Pasta, couscous$501.1 million+13.4%
97Base metal mountings, fittings$488.7 million-1.3%
98Copper waste, scrap$483.1 million+22.4%
99Synthetic filament yarn$466.3 million+4.2%
100Vinyl chloride polymers$464.1 million-6.1%
101Other animal leather$449.3 million+12.2%
102Electric sound/visual signal bells or alarms$447.8 million+5.1%
103Electric ignition/start equipment$445.2 million+17.1%
104Bridge structures, parts$433.4 million+15.4%
105Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$432.6 million+5%
106Sports equipment$430.7 million+3.5%
107Lifting/loading machinery$420.8 million+16.1%
108Imitation jewelry$416.5 million+22.1%
109Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$402.9 million+12.6%
110Other organic cleaning preparations$401.8 million+9.6%
111Unrecorded sound media$399.9 million+19.5%
112Miscellaneous furniture$394.8 million-1.8%
113Vulcanized rubber tubes, pipes$387.2 million+10.8%
114Medication mixes in dosage$380 million+4.9%
115Dried fruit$368.2 million-3.6%
116Unsaturated acyclic mono acids$358.7 million+0.2%
117Unvulcanized compounded rubber$356.5 million+7.8%
118Moluscs$352.7 million-5.6%
119Turbo-jets$351.6 million-20.5%
120Cases, handbags, wallets$349.5 million+19.5%
121Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$347.4 million+42.2%
122Particle board, other ligneous materials$345.2 million-10.9%
123Chemical industry products/residuals$344 million+14.2%
124T-shirts, vests (knit or crochet)$341.6 million+3.9%
125Synthetic yarn woven fabrics$341.1 million-1%
126Epoxides$339.5 million+19.8%
127Aircraft, spacecraft$337.1 million-49.5%
128Tractors$335.6 million+8%
129Salted/dried/smoked meat$327.1 million+81%
130Dates/figs/pineapples/mangoes/avocadoes/guavas$323.1 million+14.4%
131Other prepared/preserved vegetables (non-frozen)$319.6 million+7.3%
132Electrical capacitators$316.6 million+10.1%
133Petroleum gases$313.6 million+28.6%
134Oral/dental hygiene preparations$311.6 million+4.6%
135Uncoated paper$308 million+14.9%
136Copper tubes, pipes$306.9 million+22%
137Flour/meal/starch/malt extract food preparations$300.9 million+1.8%
138Trailers$300.1 million+454.6%
139Interchangeable hand/machine tools$299.4 million+0.3%
140Wrist/pocket watches (no precious metal case)$297.6 million+15.9%
141Footwear (leather)$297.1 million+2.4%
142Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners$292.9 million+17.3%
143Harvest/threshing machinery$288.4 million+3.9%
144Microphones/headphones/amps$287.7 million-1.7%
145Vulcanised rubber thread, cord$285.4 million-2.9%
146Iron or steel pipe fittings$281.2 million+9.7%
147Iron or steel scrap$280.9 million+15.3%
148Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$278.6 million-0.4%
149Polyamides$278.2 million+14.2%
150Iron and steel stranded wire, cables (uninsulated)$273.9 million+30.8%
151Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$271.7 million+0.6%
152Organic surface-active goods, soap$269.2 million+16.1%
153Acyclic alcohols$267 million+11.6%
154Plastic tableware, kitchenware, toiletry$260.5 million+16.5%
155Miscellaneous aluminum items$260.4 million+16.8%
156Silicones$256.1 million+27.4%
157Fish fillets, pieces$255.8 million+2.7%
158Amino-compounds (oxygen)$253.9 million-0.3%
159Uncombed artificial staple fibers$253 million+16.7%
160Other than warp-knit fabrics$252.4 million+13.4%
161Paper containers, cellulose wadding$252.2 million+7.8%
162Personal toilet/shaving preparations, deodorants$250 million+0.3%
163Iron/steel containers for gas$247.3 million+8.4%
164Iron or steel tubes, pipes$246.2 million+36.3%
165Coated/laminated non-wovens$242.4 million+6.8%
166Iron and steel stoves, barbecues$242.4 million+8.2%
167Speed/distance meters$241.4 million+21.2%
168Machinery parts$240.6 million+2.6%
169Miscellaneous machine electrical parts$239.7 million+21.1%
170Copper bars, rods$237.4 million+23%
171Sugar-preserved vegetables, fruits$234 million-7.4%
172Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$227.3 million-2.4%
173Palm oil$223.3 million+3%
174Carboxylic acids$222.8 million-0.6%
175Models, puzzles, miscellaneous toys$221.3 million+10.3%
176Sound reproducing/recording parts, accessories$217.6 million-4.3%
177Iron or non-alloy steel angles, shapes, sections$217.1 million+34.6%
178Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust$216.7 million-1.3%
179Ceramic sinks, washbasins, baths, pans$214.1 million+17.9%
180Electrical resistors$211.9 million+22.3%
181Women's underwear, pajamas (knit or crochet)$211.5 million+0.9%
182Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet)$209.6 million+7.6%
183Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes$207.3 million-18.8%
184Acrylic polymers$205 million+19.2%
185Synthetic organic coloring$201.9 million-5.9%
186Locks, lock-keys$198.1 million+14.6%
187Metal-removing lathes$196.4 million+28.8%
188Bras, corsets (not knit or crochet)$195.6 million-8.1%
189Aluminum waste, scrap$191.8 million+19.3%
190Ceramic wares for technical uses$188.5 million+12.6%
191Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$184.5 million+37.7%
192Vulcanized rubber hygiene/pharma items$183.4 million+10.7%
193Gypsum, anhydrite, plasters$182 million+1.8%
194Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches$180.5 million-9.2%
195Flat-rolled stainless steel items$180.3 million+19.9%
196Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$180.3 million+3.2%
197Footwear (rubber or plastic)$180.1 million+10.1%
198Miscellaneous engines, motors$178.2 million+27.8%
199Frozen fruits, nuts$178.1 million+96.2%
200Moulding boxes/base$177.6 million-2.6%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$219.1 billion or 87.7% by value for all products exported from Thailand during 2018.

See also Thailand’s Top 10 Imports, 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 February 2, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 2, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on February 2, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on February 2, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Thailand. Accessed on February 2, 2018

Zepol’scompany summary highlights by country. Accessed on February 2, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 2, 2018