December 19, 2017 / 9:51 AM / 10 months ago

Poll: Thailand November export growth seen slowing to 6.4 percent year-on-year

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s customs-cleared annual exports likely grew for a ninth straight month in November, but at a much slower pace than in October, a Reuters poll showed.

FILE PHOTO: Shipping containers stand at a port in Bangkok, Thailand, March 25, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Exports, a key driver of Thailand’s growth, were forecast in November to rise 6.4 percent from a year earlier after surging 13.1 percent in October, according to the median forecast of 11 analysts surveyed by Reuters.

The expected slowdown in export growth was due in part to a relatively high base of comparison in November 2016, when shipments rose 10.2 percent to $18.91 billion, analysts said.

Thailand’s exports have rebounded this year on improving global demand, despite the baht rising by 9 percent against the dollar, the third-biggest gain among Asian currencies.

Last week, the central bank said the baht’s gains would not hurt export growth but would affect business profits, and it had stepped in to slow the baht’s strength.

The commerce ministry expects export growth of 9-10 percent this year, accelerating from a modest 0.5 percent rise in 2016 following three years of contraction.

For 2018, it predicts exports to rise at least 5 percent.

November imports likely rose 12.8 percent year-on-year after October’s 13.5 percent jump, according to the poll.

Thailand is expected to have recorded a trade surplus of $720 million in November after October’s $214 million surplus.

Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Chinthathip Nanthavong; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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