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  NR SITUATION OF   March 2023 [Current Year]  
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Thailand Monthly Rubber Report – March 2023

The global economy is still slowing down. Due to the crisis of confidence in the financial institution system, it may lead to tight credit for the business and household sectors. Furthermore, it affects economic activities, including consumption, investment, employment, and inflation, to slow down in the future. On March 20–22, 2023, President Xi Jinping visited Russia to further deepen economic cooperation, and they signed bilateral pacts to deepen economic collaboration between China and Russia, such as increasing the use of the yuan and ruble currencies, expanding bilateral trade, etc. Meanwhile, the US has rolled out new measures to curb China's growth in technology. Thailand's economy gradually recovers with support from domestic consumption, tourism, and various measures taken by the government to stimulate the economy. However, the situation still needs to be closely monitored. Recently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has viewed at China as a hope for the global economy. China will contribute about one-third of global economic growth in 2023 if China's economic recovery is strong, which will greatly benefit the global economy.

The Thailand Industrial Sentiment Index (TISI) in March 2023 rose to 97.8 from 96.2 in the previous month due to the expansion in domestic demand, the construction sector, and the tourism sector's recovery. However, Thailand still faces high production costs, particularly in raw material and energy prices. In addition, the interest rate rose, and foreign demand was weak following the global economy. Overall, Thailand's consumer confidence index was reported at 52.5 in February 2023, up from 51.3 in the previous month.

In terms of Thailand’s international trade in February 2023, Thailand’s export income value was 730,123.48 million baht, down 5.31% YoY but up 4.28% compared with the previous month. Meanwhile, Thailand’s import value was 776,424.88 million baht, up 0.51% YoY but down 10.90% compared with last month. Thailand's trade balance in February 2023 recorded a deficit of 46,301.40 million baht (Ministry of Commerce, 2023).

According to S&P Global, the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) increased to 49.2 in March 2023 from 47.3 the previous month. In February 2023, Thailand’s PMI stood at 53.1, down from 54.8 the previous month. Thailand’s manufacturing sector's growth slowed down due to a decrease in demand, a high inflation rate, and rising production costs.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) announced that crude oil inventories decreased by 4.3 million barrels for the week ending March 31, 2023. Overall, crude oil prices dropped but would rise later, driven by tight crude oil supply after negotiations on Iraqi oil transportation were unsuccessful. Moreover, oil prices continue to be pressured by global economic concerns. On March 31, 2023, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil prices stood at 74.37 and 79.27 USD/barrel, respectively.

The average rubber prices announced by the Central Rubber Market in Songkhla in March 2023 decreased compared with the previous month, even though it was the tapping rest period, which had slightly yielded out to the market. Meanwhile, the market was concerned about an economic slowdown. In March 2023, Thailand exported 445,053 tons of natural rubber (including compound rubber), generating an export income of 20.3 billion baht. In the tyre sector, Thailand exported 10.74 million units of all tyres for a total value of 17.7 billion baht.

In February 2023, Thailand’s car production was 165,612 units, up 6.39% YoY due to an increase in semiconductor chip, including production for export of 95,612 units (57.73% of all production), up 16.17% YoY, and domestic sales of 70,000 units (42.27% of all production). Meanwhile, Thailand's domestic car sales in February 2023 were 71,551 units, up 9.11% compared with the previous month but down 3.94% YoY due to semiconductor chip shortages in some car models.

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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