BANGKOK : Thailand's exports rose more than expected in September from a year earlier, helped by trade partners' economic recovery, a weak baht and government trade promotion, the commerce minister said on Tuesday.
Exports, a key driver of Thailand's growth, increased 17.1per cent in September from a year earlier, beating a forecast for a rise of 11.62per cent in a Reuters poll, and against August's 8.9per cent rise.
In January-September, shipments rose 15.5per cent year-on-year and should post strong growth in 2021, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit told a news conference, following September's easing of coronavirus restrictions that halted activity.
"Our private sector is also strong, making manufacturing recover quickly, despite the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown," he said, citing a high growth in imports, which will be reprocessed and shipped out again.
Imports jumped 30.3per cent in September from a year earlier, resulting in a trade surplus of US$0.61 billion for the month, the ministry said in a statement http://www.tpso.moc.go.th/sites/default/files/inter_trade_monthly/2564/sep_64/4.press_release_eng_sep_21_final.pdf.
Earlier, Jurin said exports were likely to post double-digit growth in 2021, underpinned by improved global demand and the weakening of the baht, which has depreciated 9.5per cent against the dollar so far this year.
The export gains in September were led by stronger shipments of refined oil, chemicals, plastics and steel, the ministry said.
Demand from key exports markets was also higher in September, with exports to the United States, the biggest market, up 20.2per cent from a year earlier. Exports to China increased by 23.3per cent and exports to Japan rose by 13.2per cent.
(Reporting by Orathai Sriring, Satawasin Staporncharnchai and Kitiphong Thaichareon; Editing by James Pearson)