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  NR SITUATION OF   January 2024 [Current Year]  
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Thailand Monthly Rubber Report – January 2024

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its global GDP forecast in 2024 at 3.1%, 0.2% points higher than its previous forecast in October 2023. The US economic recovery improved, resulting in the IMF increasing its estimate of US GDP in 2024 to 2.1% from 1.5%. In addition, the US Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) increased to 114.8 in January 2024 from 108.0 in December 2023. China's manufacturing sector remained in contraction. A Hong Kong court ordered the liquidation of China Evergrande Group, causing concerns that the order will have an additional impact on China's real estate crisis.

Thailand’s economy in 2024 improved, even though it slowly expanded. Thailand's economy was driven by the tourism sector, Visa-Free measure, and Easy E-Receipt Easy e-receipt campaign. Furthermore, economic activity in the service sector improved. Overall, the baht was weakened. Meanwhile, headline inflation and core inflation decreased from the previous month. In January 2024, headline inflation decreased to 1.11% YOY. However, it is necessary to monitor the economic situation, both domestic and foreign, which might affect Thailand’s manufacturing sector.

The Thailand Industrial Sentiment Index (TISI) in January 2024 increased to 90.6 from 88.8 the previous month due to domestic demand expansion. Moreover, the Easy e-receipt measures help stimulate domestic spending. Also, there is Visa-free measure to promote tourism. However, there are raising the minimum wage and high mortgage interest rates. Furthermore, shipping costs rose due to adjusting freight rates, fees, and various insurance costs. However, the government sector should monitor the situation and discuss with shipping lines to solve various problems to prevent container shortages and alleviate the impact of rising freight rates. Overall, Thailand's consumer confidence index for January 2024 is reported at 54.5, down from 54.8 in the previous month.

In terms of Thailand’s international trade in January 2024, Thailand’s export income value was 784,580 million baht, up 10.0% YoY. Meanwhile, Thailand’s import value was 890,687.35 million baht, up 2.6% YoY. Thailand's trade balance in January 2024 recorded a deficit of 106,107 million baht. (Trade Policy and Strategy Office, Ministry of Commerce, 2023).

The American Petroleum Institute (API) announced that crude oil and diesel inventories increased by 1.2 million barrels to 421.9 million barrels, for the week ending January 26, 2024. Crude oil supplies are likely to tighten after Venezuela's Court has disqualified the presidential candidacy of an opposition leader. The order is contrary to an agreement made with the US government. As a result, the US may resume sanctions on Venezuelan crude oil exports. However, the market continues to be pressured by concerns over China’s economy. On January 30, 2024, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil prices stood at 77.82 and 82.87 USD/barrel, respectively.

The average rubber prices announced by the Central Rubber Market in Songkhla in January 2024 slightly improved in line with the foreign futures market, compared with the previous month because the demand for rubber tends to increase due to the expansion of the automotive industry. In addition, rubber output released to the market was still low. In December 2023, Thailand exported 355,215 tons of natural rubber (including compound rubber), generating an export income of 18.3 billion baht. In the tire sector, Thailand exported 11.4 million units of all tires, for a total value of 20.3 billion baht.

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said that in 2024, it aims to produce 1,900,000 cars, a 3.17% rise from 2023. This production figure includes approximately 1,150,000 cars intended for export, a decrease of 0.52%, and around 750,000 cars for domestic sales. In January 2024, Thailand produced 142,102 cars, down 12.46% YoY.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is obtained from a variety of sources and the dissemination of information is for the purpose of providing information to interested parties only. The Thai Rubber Association is not responsible for any damages that may occur from the use of this information by any person.



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