By Kaori Kaneko
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's exports were expected to record an eighth straight month of growth in July, a Reuters poll found, suggesting robust offshore demand could underpin moderate economic recovery.
Exports are expected to have risen 13.6 percent in July from a year ago, accelerating from a 9.7 percent increase in June, the poll of 15 economists found.
Imports were seen likely to have grown 17.0 percent from a year earlier, up for a seventh straight month.
"The global economy is gradually gaining momentum, so exports could pick up the pace of growth," said Takeshi Minami, chief economist at Norinchukin Research Institute.
"Imports likely remained solid supported by domestic demand."
Shipments of auto parts and electronic components appear to be contributing to export growth, while liquefied natural gas, coal and oil have likely boosted imports, analysts say.
The poll showed a trade surplus of 392.0 billion yen ($3.56 billion) was expected in July, after 439.9 billion yen in June, the poll showed.
The finance ministry will announce the trade data at 8:50 a.m. Tokyo time on Thursday (2350 GMT Wednesday.)
A separate Reuters' poll showed Japan's gross domestic product (GDP), due on Monday, is expected to have grown for a sixth straight quarter in April-June, buoyed by private consumption and capital investment.
(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editingby Eric Meijer)