BANGKOK : Thailand's exports in April rose at a much slower pace than the previous month and less than expected, commerce ministry data showed on Friday, coming under the pressure of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and China's lockdown measures.
Exports, a key driver of Thai growth, increased 9.9 per cent in April from a year earlier, missing a forecast 14.6 per cent rise in a Reuters poll, and against March's 19.5 per cent jump.
Shipments should continue to rise this year, benefiting from a weak baht and an expected rise in food exports as trade partners sought to ensure food security, the ministry said in a statement.
Given food export bans in some countries, Thailand was evaluating its products for domestic food sufficiency, Jurin Laksanawisit told a news conference.
"Overall, there is nothing to worry about yet," he said.
Thai food exports rose 2.2 per cent in April from a year earlier while rice shipments jumped 44 per cent, ministry data showed.
Thai rice exports should reach 7-8 million tonnes this year after 6.1 million tonnes last year, Jurin said.
However, shipments to most markets slowed in April, with those to the United States up 13.6 per cent from a year earlier after a 21.5 per cent jump in March. Exports to Russia slumped 77 per cent.
Exports to China dropped 7.2 per cent in April, year-on-year, amid strict lockdown measures.
In April, Thai imports jumped 21.5 per cent from a year earlier, beating a forecast rise of 16.4 per cent in the poll, with a trade deficit of $1.91 billion in the month.
In January-April, exports increased 13.7 per cent from a year earlier while imports rose 19.2 per cent.
(Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty)