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Thailand's exports drop for 1st time in 20 months

BANGKOK, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's export growth in October fell for the first time since February last year as tightening monetary policy to curb high global inflation in major trading partners affected purchasing power and economic activity, data showed Monday.

The country's exports dropped 4.4 percent in October from a year earlier to 21.77 billion U.S. dollars, according to the commerce ministry.

The prolonged global economic slowdown and the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) decline in key trading partners were the main frictions to Thai export growth, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit told a press conference.

However, driven by lower energy costs and a weaker Thai baht, the entire-year export growth is still likely to double the ministry's 4 percent target, Jurin said.

In October, exports of agricultural and agro-industrial products declined for the first time in nearly two years, down 3.4 percent from a year earlier. Industrial product exports fell 3.5 percent year-on-year, the ministry said in a statement.