Fossil fuels including oil and petroleum gases were among the 20 highest value Thai import products in 2016.
The most valuable Thai imports also include gold and refined copper. Aircraft and spacecraft is another area where Thailand’s domestic supply lags demand, as is the case for smartphones and computers in general. Similar examples are electronic circuits and microassemblies.
The following list shows on which product categories Thai importers spent the most. Unlike most information currently available on the web, the items below are detailed at the 4-digit tariff code level.
This level of granularity can help entrepreneurs identify more precisely which products in which Thailand has strong demand but competitive disadvantages compared with other nations. Innovation can transform these disadvantages into lucrative business opportunities.
Highest Value Thai Import Products
Below are the 20 highest value import products delivered to Thai importers in 2017. Shown within brackets is the change in value for each imported product over the latest 5-year period.
- Crude oil: US$20.1 billion (Down -48.5% from 2013 to 2017)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $11.3 billion (Up 22.3%)
- Gold (unwrought): $11.2 billion (Down -25.5%)
- Phone system devices including smartphones: $7.7 billion (Up 60.3%)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $6.3 billion (Down -20.2%)
- Processed petroleum oils: $4.4 billion (Up 19.5%)
- Petroleum gases: $3.9 billion (Down -43.9%)
- Miscellaneous iron or steel items: $3.8 billion (Up 44.6%)
- Computers, optical readers: $3.7 billion (Down -4.1%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $3.6 billion (Down -19.2%)
- Refined copper, unwrought alloys: $2.4 billion (Up 23.5%)
- Unrecorded sound media: $2.3 billion (Up 21.8%)
- Whole fish (frozen): $2.1 billion (Down -9.9%)
- Computer parts, accessories: $2.1 billion (Down -34.6%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $2 billion (Up 1.1%)
- Electrical machinery: $2 billion (Up 12.6%)
- Diamonds (unmounted/unset): $1.9 billion (Up 40.7%)
- Piston engine parts: $1.8 billion (Down -13.7%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $1.7 billion (Down -1.3%)
- Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $1.7 billion (Up 7.7%)
In second place were miscellaneous iron or steel items which appreciated by 44.6%.
Thai imports of diamonds also showed a respectable year-over-year 40.7% gain, followed by import purchases of refined copper and unwrought alloys (up 23.5%).
The leading decliners over the latest 5-year period were Thai purchases of crude oi (down -48.5%), petroleum gases (down -43.9%) and computer parts or accessories (down -34.6%).
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on February 14, 2018
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports and World Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 14, 2018
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 14, 2018