Exports drop in Oct as global demand slows

Exports drop in Oct as global demand slows

Exports unexpectedly fell in October as tight monetary policy to curb inflation in major trading partners affected purchasing power and economic activity, the Commerce Ministry said on Monday.

Exports, a key driver of Thai growth, dropped 4.4% in October from a year earlier, compared with a forecast rise of 6.0% year-on-year in a Reuters poll, and came after September's 7.8% increase.

While exports are likely to slow down later this year, the full-year growth should still nearly double the ministry's 4% growth target, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit told a news conference.

In October, exports of farm and agro-industrial products fell for the first time in 23 months, down 3.4% from a year earlier.

Industrial goods exports dropped 3.5%, the ministry said in a statement. Among major markets, shipments to the United States dipped 0.9% from a year earlier and those to Southeast Asia dropped 3.6%. Exports to China slumped 8.5% year on year. Imports also fell 2.1% in October from a year earlier, compared with a forecast 10% rise.

Thailand recorded a trade deficit of US$596 million in October, versus a forecast deficit of $1.15 billion.

In the January-October period, exports increased 9.1% from a year earlier while imports rose 18.3% and there was a trade deficit of $15.6 billion in the period. 

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