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August exports jump 13.2% y-o-y in Thailand

REUTERS 21 SEPTEMBER 2017 - Customs-cleared annual exports rose for a sixth straight month in August, far better than expected and the fastest growth in 55 months, as demand from major markets increased.

Exports, a key driver of Thailand's growth, climbed 13.2% in August from a year earlier after July's 10.5% rise, commerce ministry data showed on Thursday. A Reuters poll expected an annual rise of 4.93% in August.

In January-August, exports grew 8.9% from a year earlier, while imports rose 15.4%, Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said.

Exports have recovered this year, but are under pressure from a strong baht, which has appreciated by 8% against the US dollar this year, the biggest gain in Asian currencies.

The ministry last month predicted exports would grow 5-6% this year after a 0.5% rise last year following three years of contraction.

Imports in August increased 14.9% from a year earlier, roughly in line with the forecast of a 14.75% rise.

Thailand had a trade surplus of US$2.09 billion in August, compared with a poll forecast of a $520 million surplus. Many of the materials imported are assembled into completed goods and shipped out again.

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