ECONOMIC Thai October export growth highest in more than a...

Thai October export growth highest in more than a year but misses forecast

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Cargo ships are pictured near the port in Bangkok, Thailand, March 25, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

  • Oct exports up 8.0% vs 9.3% y/y rise in Reuters poll
  • Oct imports up 10.2% y/y vs forecast 6% rise
  • Oct trade deficit at $0.83 bln vs forecast $0.53 bln surplus
  • Exports seen -1% this year, +2% next year – ministry

BANGKOK, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Thailand’s exports (THCEX=ECI) in October rose at the fastest annual pace in more than a year but less than expected, and the commerce ministry said on Monday full-year exports would still show a small contraction.

Customs-based exports (THCEX=ECI), a key driver of Thailand’s economy, climbed 8.0% in October from a year earlier, the fastest since June 2022, compared with a forecast rise of 9.3% on-year in a Reuters poll.

“The growth was supported by the gradual recovery of demand during the year-end festive season,” the ministry said in a statement, adding China’s economic stimulus measures were also supportive.

The export gains were helped by higher shipments of agricultural products and industrial goods, the ministry said.

The ministry anticipated that the export momentum to continue into next year, Keerati Rushchano, the ministry’s permanent secretary, told a briefing.

“We expect exports in the remaining two months of this year and next year to remain in a better direction … as the global economy is improving,” he said.

Exports, however, are expected to contract 1% this year before rising 2% next year, Keerati said. Exports declined 2.7% year-on-year in the first 10 months of 2023.

Chaichan Chareonsuk, chairman of the Thai National Shippers’ Council, said he forecast exports would rise 7% on-year in the final quarter of 2023 but fall 1% for the full year.

In October, exports of agricultural products rose 12.3% year-on-year, while industrial goods shipments rose 5.4%. Rice export volumes rose 5.6% year-on-year, with export value up 38%.

Exports to the United States increased 13.8% year-on-year in October while shipments to Southeast Asian countries climbed 4.5%. Exports to Japan fell 1.1% on-year and shipments to China rose 3.4%.

In October, Thailand posted a trade deficit (THCTR=ECI) of $0.83 billion, compared with a forecast surplus of $0.53 billion, while imports rose 10.2% from a year earlier.

In the January-October period, imports dropped 4.6% year-on-year and the trade deficit stood at $6.67 billion.

Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Kitiphong Thaichareon and Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by Martin Petty

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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