Thai Jan exports rise for sixth straight month, up 10% annually


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BANGKOK, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Thailand's customs-cleared exports rose for the sixth consecutive month in January and were up 10% annually or more than expected, the commerce ministry said on Friday.

The reading compared with an 8.8% rise forecast in a Reuters poll and followed December's 4.7% rise.

Meanwhile, imports rose 2.6% in January from a year earlier, beating a forecast for a 3.1% decline.

Thailand posted a trade deficit of $2.76 billion in January versus a forecast for a $1.54 billion deficit.

January's rice export volumes rose 17.6% annually.

Overall, Thailand is targeting export growth of 1%-2% this year, but last month, the commerce ministry said achieving that target could be challenging. Shipments, a key driver of Thailand's economy, dropped 1% last year.

"Regarding the export outlook of 2024, the export trends continue to expand, driven by the global economic recovery, easing of the global inflation situation, demand for food security measures from several countries, and economic cooperation in robust regions," the ministry said in a statement.

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring, Kitiphong Thaichareon and Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)


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