Thailand Freight Transport and Shipping Report Q1 2018
BMI View: We forecast positive, albeit tepid, freight growth in Thailand's trade in 2017 and over our five- year forecast period to 2021. Trade growth will remain subdued in the near term as Thailand's open economy remains highly exposed to headwinds emanating from a slowdown in global trade, particularly given slow growth in key trading partners such as Japan and China and risks of protectionism from the US. There are also internal factors at play, over 2016-2018, namely high household debt that could suppress consumption and an uptick in political risks. Over 2018-2021, we anticipate a stronger recovery in freight growth, with rail leading the charge in terms of growth, albeit from a low base, as infrastructure capacity enhancements gain traction. Meanwhile other freight modes will benefit from rising consumer spending and the ever-expanding export sector underpinned by industries moving higher up the value chain.