The value of Thai exports fell for the first time in four months in February to US$18.47 billion, down 2.8% year-on-year, on lack of gold and aircraft-related products, the Commerce Ministry said.
The base export value in February last year was high because of shipments of gold and aircraft-related products. Neither were exported this February, Pimchanok Vonkhorporn, director of the ministry's Trade Policy and Strategy Office, said on Wednesday.
If gold and aircraft-related products were excluded from the previous year's figure, the value of exports was up by 8.5%. Without temporary factors, exports were rising in accordance with the recovery of the global economy, and the United States economy, Ms Pimchanok said.
Exports to China rose 31.1%, the highest pace in four years, while exports of farm and agro-industrial products went up by 13.9%, on rubber, frozen fresh and processed prawns and rice, she said.
In the first two months of this year, exports were worth $35.57 billion, an increase of 2.5% year-on-year.
The cost of imports in February was $16.86 billion, rising 20.4%. Consequently, Thailand posted a trade surplus of $1.61 billion last month.
Thai exports had bright prospects as economic recovery was likely in important markets like the US, Japan, China and Europe, Ms Pimchanok said. She was confident exports would climb up by at least 3% this year with an average value of $18.5 -18.7 billion per month.
She identified as risk factors US trade protectionism, political uncertainty in Europe, fluctuating foreign exchange rates and oil prices.