BANGKOK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Thailand’s customs-cleared exports unexpectedly dropped 0.95 percent in November from a year earlier, defying analysts’ forecasts for a rise, the commerce ministry said on Friday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had estimated a 3.26 percent year-over-year rise in exports, a key driver of Thai growth. In October, shipments had risen 8.7 percent year-on-year.
The export drop in November was mainly due to lower shipments of cars and car parts, and computers and accessories, the ministry said.
Exports to the United States rose 11.9 percent in November from a year earlier, while those to China contracted 8.9 percent.
In November, imports rose 14.66 percent from a year earlier after increasing 11.23 percent in October. The poll forecast was for a rise of 8.34 percent.
That resulted in a trade deficit of $1.18 billion in November, compared with a forecast of a $0.87 billion surplus, and October’s $0.28 billion deficit.
In January-November, exports rose 7.29 percent from a year earlier while imports jumped 14.77 percent.
The ministry still expects exports to rise 8 percent this year compared with a 9.9 percent expansion last year. ($1 = 32.67 baht) (Reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai Writing by Orathai Sriring Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)