August 21, 2019 / 4:08 AM / a month ago

Thai July exports unexpectedly rise 4.28% y/y on gold boost

BANGKOK, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Thailand’s customs-cleared exports unexpectedly rose in July for the first time in five months, up 4.28% from a year earlier, as gold shipments surged, the commerce ministry said on Wednesday.

The gain in July was contrary to a Reuters poll forecast of a 2.3% drop in shipments, the main driver of Thai growth, and compared with a fall of 2.15% in June

Shipments to China expanded for the first time in nine months while those to the United States and Japan also increased, ministry official said.

Gold exports soared 407% in July from a year earlier while computers and parts fell 5.9%.

Shipments to China rose 6.2% on year,​ while exports to the United States jumped 9.8% and those to Japan rose 8.0%.

Excluding gold shipments, overall exports would have fallen 0.4%, data showed.

Imports in July increased 1.67% from a year earlier, after falling 9.44% the June. The poll had forecast a decline of 5.4%.

July saw a trade surplus of $110 million, compared with a forecast for a $540 million surplus, and June’s $3.21 billion surplus.

In January-July, exports contracted 1.91% from a year earlier and imports were down 1.81%.

The ministry targets 2019 export growth of 3%, while the state planning agency predicts a 1.2% fall. ($1 = 30.78 baht) (Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Writing by Orathai Sriring; editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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