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June 2024

Thai November export growth misses forecast; rice shipments surge

Nov exports +4.9% y/y vs +6.3% in Reuters poll

Nov rice exports at 1 mln tons, +41.8% y/y

Exports seen up in December but down for full year

Export growth seen at about 2% in 2024 – ministry

Recasts, adds outlook, comment from official from paragraphs 3-8

BANGKOK, Dec 25 (Reuters) – Thailand’s exports in November rose at a slower pace and missed analysts’ forecasts despite a surge in rice shipments, and the commerce ministry said on Monday that full-year exports would post a small drop before rising in 2024.

Customs-based exports THCEX=ECI, a key driver of Thailand’s economy, were up 4.9% in November from a year earlier, missing the 6.3% rise forecast in a Reuters poll, and against October’s 8% increase.

Exports were helped by higher shipments of agricultural products and electronic goods, which saw advance orders before the year-end festive season, the ministry said in a statement.

Shipments are expected to show further growth in December but a drop of less than 1.5% for the full year, Keerati Rushchano, the ministry’s permanent secretary, told a briefing.

“Exports might be negative this year but should rise about 2% next year,” he said.

Attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militants on ships in the Red Sea, if prolonged, could impact Thai exports in January, Keerati said.

In November, exports of agriculture products rose 7.7% on the year. Rice shipments jumped 41.8% to 1 million metric tons, with the value up 68% on the year. Exports of computers increased, but auto shipments contracted.

Rice exports saw high demand due to concerns over food insecurity, Keerati said.

Shipments to the United States rose 17.5% and those to Japan increased 4.3%, while exports to China fell 3.9%.

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Kitiphong Thaichareon; Editing by William Mallard and Jamie Freed) QR Code

Published Date: December 25, 2023

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