Thailand's customs-based exports declined for a seventh straight month in April, down 7.6% from a year earlier, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday, as global demand slows.

The reading came in worse than a 2% year-on-year drop forecast for April in a Reuters poll, and came after a 4.2% drop in March.

April's exports were valued at $21.72 billion, after March's $27.65 billion, which was the highest in a year, the ministry said.

The ministry has said it maintains its target of 1%-2% export growth this year.

Thailand posted a trade deficit of $1.47 billion in April, versus a forecast deficit of $450 million, as imports showed a 7.3% year-on-year contraction.

In the January-April period, exports declined 5.2% from a year earlier, with imports down 2.2% and a trade deficit at $4.52 billion.

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