Sept exports fall 5.2% y-o-y, first decline in 19 months

Thailand’s customs-cleared exports drop in September, the first decline in 19 months.

The kingdom’s customs-cleared exports defied analyst expectations in September, dropping for the first time in 19 months, Commerce Ministry data showed on Monday.

Exports, a key driver of the country’s growth, fell 5.2% in September from a year earlier, compared with the median forecast for a 6.05% rise in a Reuters poll.

In August, exports rose 6.68% from a year earlier.

The export miss was due to a high comparative base, the US-China trade war and trade partners’ economic problems, the ministry said.

Exports to the United States rose 1.2% in September from a year earlier, while ones to China slumped 14.1%.

Exports of cars and parts, computers and accessories fell 7.4% from a year earlier while rubber products dropped 2.4%, it said.

In September, imports rose 9.9% on an annual basis after surging 22.8% in August. The poll forecast was for a rise of 14.24%.

That resulted in a trade surplus of 16 billion baht in September, compared with a forecast 53 billion baht surplus, and against August’s 19 billion baht deficit.

In January-September, exports rose 8.13% from a year earlier while imports jumped 15.2%.

The ministry said it still targeted export growth of 8% this year, after last year’s 9.9% rise. 

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