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Thailand – Export – Import


Thailand is the 20th largest export economy in the world and the 32nd most complex economy. Thailand shipped US$213.6 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2016, up by 40.1% since 2009 when the Great Recession kicked in and up by 1.3% from 2015 to 2016. Thailand’s top 10 exports accounted for almost three-quarters (72%) of the overall value of its global shipments. n 2015, Thailand exported approx. $231B and imported approx. $190B, resulting in a positive trade balance of $40.6B. In 2015 the GDP of Thailand was $395B and its GDP per capita was $16.3k.

Given Thailand’s population of about 68.2 million people, its total $231.6 billion in 2016 exports translates to roughly $3,300 for every resident in that country.

Thailand exports 316 products. Fastest-growing product categories over the 7-year period starting in 2009 were vehicles (up 126.9%), optical, technical and medical equipment (up 86.7%), plastics (up 67.2%) and gems and precious metals (up 45.4%) led by gold, jewelry and diamonds.

Only two top Thai export product categories declined, namely mineral fuels including oil (down -19.7%) and cereals (down -13.8%). The cereals category drop was led by rice and to a lesser extent corn.

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Thai global shipments during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Thailand.

Thailand Top 10 Export Products


Highest Value ( US $ Billion )

Per %

Machinery Including computers


17.4 %

Electrical Machinery, equipments


13.9 %



12.7 %

Gems, precious metals


6.6 %

Rubber, rubber articles


5.7 %

Plastic, plastic articles


5.3 %

Mineral fuels including oil


2.9 %

Meat/sea-food preparations


2.8 %

Optical, technical, medical apparatus


2.5 %



2.1 %


Two of Thailand’s 10 largest export companies operate in the petroleum industry. Two Thai chemical firms also rank among the Asian country’s top 10 exporters as is the case for two telecommunications sector players.

To give some global trade perspective on recent company performance, the overall value of Thai exports declined by -7.8% from US$228.8 billion in 2011 to $210.9 billion during 2015.

In the analysis below, we compare Thailand’s top 10 export companies based on asset values, sales and profitability as of May 2016. Also specified is the number of employees for each business.

Five of these large Thai exporters grew their asset values from 2015 to May 2016, led by telecommunications firm Advanced Info Service’s 48.5% gain. Charoen Pokphand Foods (up 23.7%), PTT PCL (up 12%), Siam Cement (up 5.7%) and CP All (up 3.9%) also posted asset growth.

PTT Global Chemical suffered the greatest cutback in asset size shrinking by -20.5%, followed by a -16.4% drop for petroleum industry competitor Thai Oil and a -4.3% setback for PTT Global Chemical.

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