March exports up, beat forecast

March exports up, beat forecast

Exports rose a much faster than expected 19.5% in March from a year earlier, boosted by surging shipments of gold and electronics, Customs Department data showed on Friday.

That compares with a forecast for a rise of 2.4% in March in a Reuters poll and February's 16.2% increase.

Imports rose 18% year-on-year in March, also beating a forecast 8.9% increase in the poll and resulting in a trade surplus of US$1.46 billion in the month.

The value of exports, a key driver of Thai growth, was a record $28.86 billion in March, while imports were also at an all-time high of $27.40 billion in March, resulting in a trade surplus of $1.46 billion in the month, according to the Customs Department.

In March, exports of gold were 11 times higher than a year earlier while shipments of hard disk drives rose 68% year-on-year and passenger cars increased 14%.

March's imports were led by crude, electronics, and natural gas.

The Commerce Ministry is planning to hold a briefing on the March trade data early next week.

Earlier this month, the national shippers' group said the growth of exports could slow to 2% to 4% in the second quarter due to uncertainty over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.



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