Thai exports unexpectedly rose for the first time in 11 months in August, helped by higher shipments of agricultural and industrial goods, despite weak global demand, the Commerce Ministry said on Tuesday.
Customs-based exports, a key driver of Thailand's economy, rose 2.6% in August from a year earlier, compared with analysts' median forecast for a 4% decline in a Reuters poll.
In August, Thailand posted a trade surplus of US$0.36 billion, compared with a forecast deficit of $1.75 billion, while imports dropped 12.8% year-on-year. That compared to a fall of 10% seen in the poll.
In the January-August period, exports contracted 4.5% from year earlier.
Exports are expected to contract by up to 1% to 2% this year, the Deputy Minister of Commerce, Napintorn Srisanpang, said this month.
The Commerce Ministry is scheduled to hold talks with the private sector on Wednesday to assess the export situation and find measures to stimulate Thai trade in the final quarter, according to Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department.
The ministry is also set to host the fourth round of talks for a free trade agreement (FTA) between Thailand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Bangkok this week.