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Thai Oct exports up 13.1% y-o-y, beats forecast

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Thailand's customs-cleared annual exports rose for an eighth straight month in October, slightly more than expected, as global demand remained strong.

[BANGKOK] Thailand's customs-cleared annual exports rose for an eighth straight month in October, slightly more than expected, as global demand remained strong.

Exports, a key driver of Thailand's growth, climbed 13.1 per cent in October from a year earlier after rising 12.2 per cent in September, commerce ministry data showed on Wednesday.

That beat the median forecast of an 11.8 per cent rise from economists polled by Reuters.

Imports in October increased 13.5 per cent from a year earlier, more than the forecast of a 6.7 per cent rise.

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That resulted in a trade surplus of US$0.21 billion in October, well below a forecast of US$1.3 billion surplus.

In January-October, exports grew 9.7 per cent from a year earlier, while imports rose 14.6 per cent in the same period, Pimchanok Vonkhorporn, an official at the Commerce Ministry, said at a briefing.

A strong baht is yet to affect exports in the short term, she added.

Shipments have recovered this year, despite the baht appreciating more than 9 per cent against the US dollar so far this year, the second-biggest gainer among Asian currencies.

The baht's strength, however, has had only a little impact on exports, historical data showed. The central bank has said trade partners' economies are more important for trade.

The commerce ministry now predicts exports will grow 9-10 per cent this year, accelerating from a modest 0.5 per cent rise in 2016 following three years of decline.

Many of the materials Thailand imports are assembled into completed goods and shipped out again.

REUTERS

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