BANGKOK, July 22 (Reuters) - Thailand’s customs-cleared exports declined for a fourth straight month in June, down 2.15% from a year earlier, after contracting 5.79% in May, the commerce ministry said on Monday.
The decline in June was smaller than the Reuters poll forecast of a 5% drop in shipments, the main driver of Thai growth.
Shipments to China fell 14.9% in June from a year earlier, while those to the United States were down 2.1% a ministry official said.
Imports in June dropped 9.44% from a year earlier, after falling 0.64% the prior month. The poll had forecast a June decline of 2.96%.
June saw a trade surplus of $3.21 billion, compared with a forecast for a $830 million surplus, and May’s $181.5 million surplus.
In January-June, exports declined 2.91% from a year earlier and imports were down 2.41%.
The ministry targets export growth of 3% this year, while the central bank has predicted no increase. ($1 = 30.81 baht) (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Richard Borsuk)