Thai exports beat forecast in June on high global demand, weak baht

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Bangkok's skyline photographed during sunset in Bangkok

BANGKOK – Thailand’s customs-based exports rose by a more than expected 11.9% in June from a year earlier, helped by increased global demand as well as a weak baht, the commerce minister said on Wednesday.

Exports, a key driver of Thai growth, beat a forecast rise of 8.5% in June in a Reuters poll, and after a 10.5% rise in the previous month.

In the first six months of 2022, shipments rose 12.7% year-on-year, already above the ministry’s 4% export growth target for the year, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said.

“Global food demand continues to rise and production is increasing. A weak baht is a further boost to exports,” he told a news conference.

The Thai currency traded at 36.87 per dollar at 0402 GMT, around its weakest level in more than 15 years.

In June, exports were lifted by a yearly 6.7% rise in industrial goods shipments, and a 24.5% jump in exports of agricultural and agro-industrial products, the ministry said in a statement.

Exports to key markets were largely higher in June, with those to the United States up 12.1% from a year earlier and those to Southeast Asia jumping 28.3%. Exports to China dropped 2.7% from a year earlier.

June imports climbed 24.5% from a year ago, with a trade deficit of $1.53 billion in the month.

(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon, Orathai Sriring and Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by Martin Petty)