UPDATE 1-Thai June exports fall 23.17% year-on-year, weakest pace in almost 11 years

    * Exports seen down 8%-9% this year - ministry
    * Shipments likely bottomed but slow recovery seen

 (Adds detail, forecast)
    BANGKOK, July 24 (Reuters) - Thailand's exports in June
dropped by a bigger-than-expected 23.17% from a year earlier,
the weakest pace since July 2009,  as the coronavirus pandemic
hit global demand, the commerce ministry said on Friday.
    The decline compared with a Reuters poll forecast for a fall
of 15.5% in exports, and against May's 22.5% contraction.
    Exports, a key driver of Thai growth, could decline by 8%-9%
this year, Pimchanok Vonkorpon, head of the ministry's Trade
Policy and Strategy Office, told a briefing.
    "Exports should have bottomed out but a recovery may not be
fast," she said, adding exports had fallen by 15.2% year-on-year
in the second quarter.
    Most export markets contracted in June, but shipments to the
United States rose 14.5% from year earlier and ones to China
increased 12%, Pimchanok said.
    The June export fall was led by shipments of cars and car
parts, which tumbled 43.2% from a year earlier, while gold
exports fell 86% and plastic pellets were down 15%.
    In the first half of 2020, exports decreased 7.09% from a
year earlier.

 (Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Kitiphong Thaichareon;
Editing by Ed Davies)

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