2012 export growth likely only 5%: Deputy Commerce Minister

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BANGKOK, Oct 24 – Deputy Commerce Minister Poom Sarapol said on Wednesday Thailand’s export growth this year could reach only 5 per cent rather than the ministry’s target of 15 per cent.

Speaking at a news conference here, the minister said the value of monthly shipments in the remainder of the year should total $20 billion and that may help export growth this year to reach 5 per cent.

Exports increased for the first time in four months in September with shipments rising by 0.20 percent year-on-year last month to US$20.7 billion. Thai exports to emerging markets rose amid a worsening European debt crisis which has dampened demand for Thai shipments.

The commerce ministry reports exports in the agricultural and agribusiness sector dropped by 22.8 per cent. Nonetheless, exports in the industrial sector increased by 8.4 per cent.

Exports in the first nine months of this year dropped by 11.6 per cent in the agricultural and agribusiness sector but rose by 0.4 per cent in the industrial sector.

Imports slipped by 7.7 per cent year-on-year last month for a trade surplus of $1.152 billion.

During the first nine months of this year, Thailand’s exports totalled $172 billion, down by 1.13 percent year-on-year, while imports amount to $184 billion, up by 5.76 per cent year-on-year, leaving the country with a $11.9 billion trade deficit.