Nopparat Chaichalearmmongkol

BANGKOK--Thailand's international trade moved toward recovery in November with export growth at a nine-month high, the Commerce Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry's monthly report showed Thailand's trade surplus at $1.54 billion in November, surging from $248 million in October.

The continued trade surplus was attributed to a 10.2% on-year export growth, to $18.91 billion in November, a rebound from the 4.2% fall in the preceding month, and a 3.0% on-year rise in imports to $17.37 billion, compared with a 6.5% year-over-year increase in October.

The Commerce Ministry said that higher farm shipments and a rebound in oil exports have contributed to strong rebound in the export growth.

Breakdown data show the country's agricultural exports, which account for some 15% of total exports, rose 12.7% from a year ago in November, reversing from an 8.1% drop in the preceding month. Value of industrial shipments, which represents nearly 80% of total export value, went up 9.8%, compared with a 2.7% slide in October.

Thai exports have registered growth across all markets, led by Japan's 22.25% surge, which was followed by 22.0%, 13.8% and 10.3% rises in China, the EU and the U.S. respectively. The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which makes up almost 50% of Thailand's total exports, rose 1.8% in November.

Over January to November, export value totaled $197.16 billion, official data show, which was a 0.05% year-over-year slide, while import value was $177.44 billion, a 5.1% on-year drop.

Thailand's accumulated trade surplus for the first 11 months of this year was $19.72 billion.Pimchanok Vonkhorporn, deputy director of the ministry's Office of Trade Policy and Strategy, told a news conference that the country's exports look more likely to avoid a flat performance this year.

Accordingly, the ministry has revised upward its 2016 export growth estimate to a range of -1.0% and 0.2%, from the previous band of -1.0%-0%, while revealing a 2017 export growth forecast of between 2.5% and 3.0%.

"Export growth has already turned positive in 3Q16 and should be sustained in 4Q16, helping to offset the temporary slowdown in other components during the mourning period," said Tisco Financial Group in a note. "Therefore, we expect smooth economic recovery to continue in 4Q16 and going forward."

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December 26, 2016 03:44 ET (08:44 GMT)

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