Thailand’s customs-cleared annual exports increased at a slower pace in March compared with the previous month, due partly to a high comparative base last year,and the growth was slightly below forecast.
Exports, a key driver of Thailand’s growth, rose 7.06 percent in March from a year earlier after increasing 10.3 percent in February, but the March value was a record high, commerce ministry data showed on Monday.
That slightly missed the median forecast of an 8 percent rise from economists polled by Reuters.The gains were led by stronger shipments of cars and parts, computers and parts, and chemicals.
Imports in March were up 9.47 percent from a year earlier after jumping 16 percent in February, and compared with a forecast of an 11.6 percent increase.
That resulted in a trade surplus of $1.27 billion in March, more than a forecast of a $700 million surplus, and compared with a surplus of $808 million in February.
Demand from most key markets were higher in March, except for China, which contracted 8.7 percent year-on-year due to a high base last year, Pimchanok Vonkhorporn, a commerce ministry official, said at a briefing.
In the January-March period, exports rose 11.29 percent from a year earlier while imports jumped 16.16 percent.The ministry targets an export growth of 8 percent this
year, after a 9.9 percent rise last year, despite a strong baht.The baht has risen 3.9 percent against the dollar so far this year, hovering over four-year highs against the greenback.