BANGKOK, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Deputy Commerce Minister Poom Sarapol said on Wednesday Thailand's export growth this year could reach only 5 percent rather than the ministry's early target of 15 percent, Thai News Agency reported.
Speaking at a news conference, the minister said the value of monthly shipments in the remainder of the year should total 20 billion U.S. dollars and that may help export growth this year to reach 5 percent.
Exports increased for the first time in four months in September with shipments rising by 0.20 percent year-on-year last month to 20.7 billion U.S. dollars. 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 percent. Nonetheless, exports in the industrial sector increased by 8.4 percent.
Exports in the first nine months of this year dropped by 11.6 percent in the agricultural and agribusiness sector but rose by 0. 4 percent in the industrial sector.
Imports slipped by 7.7 percent year-on-year last month for a trade surplus of 1.152 billion U.S. dollars.
During the first nine months of this year, Thailand's exports totaled 172 billion U.S. dollars, down by 1.13 percent year-on- year, while imports amount to 184 billion U.S. dollars, up by 5.76 percent year-on-year, leaving the country with a 11.9 billion U.S. dollars trade deficit.