Exports forecast to grow 3.26% in 2019
The Electrical and Electronics Institute forecasts the country's shipments will grow by 3.26% to US$64.1 billion (2 trillion baht) in 2019 as major destinations -- Japan, Southeast Asia and Europe -- have healthy economic sentiment.
In terms of value, electronic parts are expected to grow by 3.55% in 2019, while home appliance shipments are projected to increase 2.97%.
The institute also reported the country's shipment value in 2018 stood at $62.1 billion, a 2.16% increase from 2017.
In 2018, electronic parts exports rose by 4.27% to $38.1 billion, with home appliance shipments at $17.5 billion, up 1.01%, and electrical power systems at $6.55 billion, a gain of 2.63%.
In terms of shipment destinations, Southeast Asia was top, claiming 18.5% of the 2018 total value (+5.38%), followed by the US at 17.9% (-2.30%), Europe with 14.5% (+8.64%), Japan 11.5% (+12.2%) and China 9.03% (-0.49%).
Home appliance shipments fell to many destinations in 2018, such as electrical circuit protection devices (-3.19%) to Europe and the US; refrigerators (-6.59%) to China and Japan; and cameras (-3.93%) to China, Europe and Southeast Asia.
Only air conditioners grew by 9.73% for the period to Japan and Europe.
"Decreases in electronic parts exports were a result of non-tariff barriers and trade countermeasures, all carried out by the US on China," said institute president Somboon Hotrakool.
But electronic parts exports grew to every destination other than China, such as Japan (+9.56%) and Europe (+8.91%), including from telephones, integrated circuits, printers and photocopy machines.
Mr Somboon said the Thai electrical and electronics industry has thrived and expanded continuously for almost four decades.
"This sector connects many related industries in Thailand and accounts for 24% of the overall export value annually," he said.
"The industry should carry on with innovation to maintain competitiveness."
Thailand has 2,419 companies in the electrical and electronics industry and employs 753,357 employees.