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Thai Dec exports unexpectedly fall 1.72% y-o-y
[BANGKOK] Thailand's customs-cleared exports dropped for a second straight month in December, down 1.72 per cent from a year earlier, as against analysts' forecast for a small rise, the commerce ministry said on Monday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had estimated a 0.4 per cent year-on-year rise in exports, a key driver of Thai growth.
In November, shipments contracted 0.95 per cent year on year.
The export decline in December was due to falling shipments of electronics amid the Sino-US trade war and lower gold exports, the ministry said.
In December, imports fell 8.15 per cent from a year earlier after jumping 14.66 per cent in November. The poll forecast was for a rise of 3.87 per cent.
That resulted in a trade surplus of $1.06 billion in December, compared with a forecast of a $1.1 billion deficit, and November's $1.18 billion deficit.
Exports to the United States rose 0.6 per cent in December from a year earlier, while those to China fell 7.3 per cent.
In 2018, exports rose 6.70 per cent from a year earlier while imports jumped 12.51 per cent.
The ministry targets export growth of 8 per cent in 2019, while Thailand's central bank predicts a 3.8 per cent rise.