December 21, 2017 / 4:09 AM / in a year

Thai Nov exports up 13.4 pct y/y, beat forecast

    BANGKOK, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Thailand's customs-cleared
annual exports rose for a ninth straight month in November and
handily beating expectations, as demand from major markets
remained strong.
    Exports, a key driver of Thailand's growth, increased 13.4
percent in November from a year earlier after rising 13.1
percent in October, commerce ministry data showed on Thursday.
    That beat the median forecast of a 6.4 percent rise from
economists polled by Reuters.
    The exports were led by rubber, which surged 61 percent,
while rice exports rose 50 percent.
    Imports in November increased 13.7 percent from a year
earlier, also more than the forecast of a 12.8 percent rise.
    That resulted in a trade surplus of $1.76 billion in
November, far above a forecast of $0.72 billion surplus.
    In January-November, exports grew 10 percent, while imports
rose 14.5 percent in the same period, Pimchanok Vonkhorporn, an
official at the commerce ministry, said at a briefing.
    The ministry is confident that exports will reach 10 percent
for 2017 and next year could rise 6-7 percent, she said.
    Last year, exports rose just 0.5 percent after three years
of contraction.
    Shipments have remained strong this year, despite the baht
appreciating more than 9 percent against the dollar, the
third-biggest gainer among Asian currencies.
 (Percentage change from a year earlier, in dollar terms;
figures may not add up exactly due to rounding):
                               Nov      Oct     Sept      Aug
 Exports (pct y/y)            13.4     13.1     12.2     13.2
 ($US bln)                   21.43    20.08    21.81    21.22
 Imports (pct y/y)            13.7     13.5     9.73     14.9
 ($US bln)                   19.67    19.87    18.45    19.13
 Trade balance ($US bln)      1.76     0.21     3.35     2.09
 ($1 = 32.72 baht)

 (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon and Orathai Sriring;
Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)
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