Year over year, the overall value of Thai exports rose 6.1% compared to $267.5 billion in 2021.
That dollar figure represents roughly 1.3% of overall global exports estimated at $22.144 trillion on year earlier during 2021.
The 5 best customers purchasing Thailand’s exported goods were the United States of America, mainland China, Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia. Collectively, that quintet of major trading partners bought approaching half (46.2%) of overall Thai exports in 2022.
Applying a continental lens, 61.6% of Thailand exports by value were delivered to fellow Asian countries while 18.5% were sold to North American importers. Thailand shipped another 10.9% worth of goods to Europe.
Smaller percentages went to Oceania led by Australia and New Zealand (4.7%), Africa (2.3%), then Latin America (2.1%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
Thailand’s Top Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 25 of Thailand’s top trading partners, countries that imported the most Thai shipments by dollar value during 2022. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Thai exports.
- United States: US$47.2 billion (16.6% of total Thai exports)
- China: $34 billion (12%)
- Japan: $24.5 billion (8.6%)
- Vietnam: $13.1 billion (4.6%)
- Malaysia: $12.4 billion (4.4%)
- Australia: $11 billion (3.9%)
- India: $10.4 billion (3.7%)
- Indonesia: $10.2 billion (3.6%)
- Singapore: $10.1 billion (3.6%)
- Hong Kong: $10 billion (3.5%)
- Cambodia: $8.6 billion (3%)
- Philippines: $7.3 billion (2.6%)
- South Korea: $6.3 billion (2.2%)
- Netherlands: $5.7 billion (2%)
- Germany: $4.72 billion (1.7%)
- Taiwan: $4.66 billion (1.6%)
- Myanmar: $4.64 billion (1.6%)
- Laos: $4.5 billion (1.6%)
- United Kingdom: $4 billion (1.4%)
- United Arab Emirates: $3.38 billion (1.2%)
- Switzerland: $3.37 billion (1.2%)
- Mexico: $3.2 billion (1.1%)
- South Africa: $2.8 billion (1%)
- Belgium: $2.15 billion (0.8%)
- France: $2.14 billion (0.8%)
By overall value, a formidable 88.2% of Thai exports in 2022 were delivered to the above 25 trade partners.
The strongest increases in sales of Thai exports belong to Switzerland (up 129.4% from 2021), India (up 23.1%), Cambodia (also up 23.1%), United Arab Emirates (up 23%), then the United Kingdom (up 16.9%).
Recording the severest year-over-year declines were Hong Kong (down -12.9%) and mainland China (down -7.3%).
Countries Causing the Greatest Trade Deficits for Thailand
Thailand incurred an overall -$21.9 billion deficit for 2022, accelerating by 1,261% compared to -$1.6 billion one year earlier in 2021.
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
Thailand incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- mainland China: -US$37.2 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2022)
- United Arab Emirates: -$14.7 billion
- Japan: -$10.2 billion
- Taiwan: -$7.2 billion
- Saudi Arabia: -$5.3 billion
- Qatar: -$4.1 billion
- South Korea: -$3.9 billion
- Switzerland: -$3.7 billion
- Thailand: -$3.6 billion
- Malaysia: -$2.3 billion
Among Thailand’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Thailand’s deficits with Malaysia (up 1,176%), United Arab Emirates (up 106.5%) and Qatar (up 34.8%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Thailand’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Thailand to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Countries Generating the Largest Trade Surpluses for Thailand
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
Thailand incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- United States: US$28.9 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2022)
- Cambodia: $7.5 billion
- Hong Kong: $7.2 billion
- Vietnam: $5.1 billion
- Netherlands: $4.6 billion
- Australia: $3.7 billion
- Philippines: $3.4 billion
- India: $3.2 billion
- Mexico: $2.3 billion
- South Africa: $2 billion
Among Thailand’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Thailand’s surpluses with India (up 59.5%), Cambodia (up 22.5%) and Mexico (up 13%) grew at the fastest pace from 2021 to 2022.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Thailand’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Thailand to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Thailand Major Exports 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 IMPORTERS.com listings for Thai suppliers, the following are examples of companies that ship products from Thailand to its trading partners around the globe. Shown within parenthesis are products that the Thai business provides.
- Dplus Intertrade Co,Ltd (LCD screen protectors)
- Dr.Sandals Online (hand-made sandals)
- Grand Asia Food Industry Company (canned fruits, vegetables)
- Kitthaworn Trading Co, Ltd (artificial flowers)
- LYR Premium Partnership, Ltd (printed T-shirts)
- Mae Chan Winery (wines)
- NF Trading Thailand Ltd (charcoal)
- Penta Pal Trading Co, Ltd (freeze-dried tropical fruits)
- S.T.Rubber Factory, Ltd (automotive, rubber-related)
- Somjit Trading & Services Co,Ltd (clothing manufacturer)
- Victory Gypsum Board Co, Ltd (ceiling tiles)
See also Thailand’s Top 10 Exports, Thailand’s Top 10 Imports and Thailand’s Top 10 Major Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Country Profiles. Accessed on April 8, 2023
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 8, 2023
IMPORTERS.com The Online Market for G20 Importers, Germany Import Export Directory. Accessed on April 8, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on April 8, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 8, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 8, 2023
Richest Country Reports, Key Statistics Powering Global Wealth. Accessed on April 8, 2023