Thailand's apparel exports continued to grow in 2011, but at a slower pace than last year according to the latest figures from the Thai Garment Manufacturers Association (TGMA).

Exports rose by 2.16% to US$3.275bn, with a slowdown in the last four months of the year.

In December, export revenue dropped 10.62% from the same month in the previous year to $263.1m. There were also declines of 5.05%, 12.4% and 13.1% in September, October and November respectively.

The decline is also blamed on a slump in exports to the US - the biggest market for Thai apparel. During the 12-month period, shipments to the US fell 9.54% year-on-year to US$1.142bn, accounting for 34.9% of total export value. This compared to 39.4% in the previous year.

Exports to the EU, the second biggest market, also dropped, down 1.48% to $998.7m thanks to five consecutive months of decline from August to December.

Within the EU, exports to the biggest customer, Germany, rose 9.4% to $178.68m. But the UK, standing in the second place, saw a drop of 5.85% to $168.79m.

In contrast, exports to Japan continued to enjoy strong year-on-year growth of 28.6% to US$325.3m - making up 9.93% of total export turnover.