Thailand as "the major manufacturing base for Japanese companies" relies on parts from Japan that face delays after the earthquake.
EXPORTS: FTI reports drop in Japan trade by Nareerat Wiriyapong
Thailand's exports to Japan have begun to feel the pinch from the devastating disasters there with importers delaying shipments.
Meanwhile ports and road transport in Tokyo are congested as activities shift from affected coastal areas to the capital.
Pallapa Sakdarak, a commercial adviser with the Export Promotion Department, said automotive parts, electrical appliances and natural rubber had been affected the most as they are the top three exports to Japan.
"Exports will certainly be affected as Thailand is the major manufacturing base for Japanese companies," she said at a forum held by the Federation of Thai Industries on the impact of the tsunami and the nuclear crisis on the Thai economy.
Importers have asked for delays of shipments over the next three months as production activities in the affected areas have been suspended.
Citing the Industry Ministry, Ms Pallapa said there were 22 automobile plants in Sendai. Japanese automakers led by Toyota have stopped production because of difficulties in securing parts, the traumatic effect the disaster had on their workers, and electrical blackouts.
Japan is the third-largest export market for Thailand after Asean and China, accounting for 10.5% of the country's yearly overseas shipments.
Nonetheless, Ms Pallapa said the building materials, electrical appliances, furniture and food sectors should expect increasing orders from Japan in the near term, leading the ministry to believe overall exports to Japan will not decline.
FTI vice-chairman Tanit Sorat said Thai chicken exporters had received rising orders from Japan, making the sector a beneficiary of recent events. Meanwhile, 13 industrial sectors such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), chemicals, air conditioners, machinery and software expect a negative impact.
The FTI expects Japan's crises will reduce Thailand's gross domestic product by 0.1 percentage point due to supply shortages for the automotive and electrical appliance industries. Outbound and inbound tourism are forecast to lose 15-20 billion baht as 980,000 Japanese visit Thailand a year, representing 6.2% of international arrivals in the country, Dr Tanit said.
Surasak Thienbunlertrat, general manager of NYK Line (Thailand), said that because shipping activities had been moved to Tokyo because the Sendai port is closed, shipments bound for northeastern and western parts of Japan have been affected as well.
"But we think this is a short-term situation that will ease in the next couple of days. The greater concern is road traffic as petrol is required for relief efforts and there may not be enough for product shipments by truck," he said.
Nattaphong Areekul, a vice-president of Toshiba Thailand, said orders from Japan remained intact while existing high-tech parts from there should be sufficient to serve production here this month and next.
"Exports to Japan could be increased," he said, adding Thailand is an export base for Toshiba's small home appliances such as microwaves and rice cookers.
(Source: Bangkok Post, EXPORTS, FTI reports drop in Japan trade, 24/03/2011, Nareerat Wiriyapong, link)
trade - the buying and selling of goods การค้าขาย
feel the pinch - experiencing a difficult situation
devastating - very harmful and damaging
disasters - very bad events (such as floods, earthquakes and tsunamis) with a lot of loss of life, injuries and property damage)
port - an area of water where ships stop, including the buildings around it ท่าเรือ
transport - to move people or things from one place to another ขนส่ง
congested - crowded, having many things in a small space (example: traffic congestion)
coastal (adjective) - near the sea or ocean
shift - to move from one place to another; to transfer เคลื่อนย้าย
capital - the main city for government in a country (where parliament and government ministries and departments are located)
commercial - for business purposes
commercial adviser - an expert who gives advice about business
natural - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ
natural rubber - rubber from rubber trees (See Wikipedia)
synthetic rubber - rubber made artificially from chemicals in a factory (See Wikipedia)
base - a place from where an activity can be planned and done ฐานที่มั่น
manufacturing base - the place where a company produces much of their product (does much of their manufacturing)
forum - a place where people can express and discuss their ideas and opinions การประชุมแสดงความคิดเห็น
impact - an effect or influence ผลกระทบ
crisis - an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤตการณ์
suspended - stopped for a period of time (temporarily)
plants - factories
securing parts - getting parts, obtaining parts
trauma (noun) - a bad experience that makes you feel upset, afraid or shocked
traumatic (adjective) - causing people to be upset, afraid or shocked
disaster - something very bad that happens and causes a lot of damage or kills a lot of people ความหายนะ ภัยพิบัติ
blackout - a time when there is no electricity (so no lights, so black or dark at night)
building materials - materials (such as concrete or bricks that are used to build buildings
electrical appliances - machines both electrical and mechanical) for doing housework such as cooking or cleaning เครื่องใช้ไฟฟ้า (See Wikipedia)
in the near term - in the short term (in the next few months or quarter)
ministry - a government department dealing with an area of activity กระทรวง
sector - a part of the economy (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (See Wikipedia)
beneficiary - a person who gets something (some "benefit") from someone
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) - a gasoline substitute, less common worldwide than CNG below, but more popular in Thailand because of cheaper vehicle conversion costs (See Wikipedia)
a gasoline substitute - some fuel that can be used instead of gasoline, a gasoline replacement
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) - a substitute for gasoline, diesel, or propane fuel, more environmentally clean alternative and safer in the event of a fuel spill, natural gas is lighter than air, so it disperses quickly when leaked or spilled, used especially by taxis, buses, and trucks (See Wikipedia)
negative - bad ที่เป็นด้านลบ
domestic - within the country ในประเทศ
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - total value of all goods and services produced in a country (includes income earned in the country by foreigners, but notincome earned by money earned outside the country)
(See Google Definitions)
shortages - when there are not enough goods for people to buy การขาดแคลน
outbound - going out of a place ขาออก
inbound - travelling towards a particular point or place ขาเข้า
forecast - what experts believe will happen in the future, a statement about what will happen in the future based on information available now พยากรณ์
international - ระหว่างประเทศ between countries
shipping - the transport of goods especially on ships
bound for - going to
ease - to make or become less severe, difficult, unpleasant, painful, etc ทำให้ง่าย
concern - a worry ความกังวล
traffic - the number traveling to a place during a period of time (people, aircraft, ships, trains, cars, trucks, etc.) ความหนาแน่นของจำนวนคน หรือยานพาหนะในช่วงเวลาใดช่วงเวลาหนึ่ง
relief - help for improving a bad physical condition or a bad situation การผ่อนคลาย, การบรรเทา
efforts - people trying to accomplish something, achieve a goal ความพยายาม
intact - not harmed, damaged, or lacking any parts as a results of something that has happened สมบูรณ์ ไม่บุบสลาย
orders remained intact - orders did not change (from previous levels)
sufficient - enough พอเพียง
export base - a place where goods are produced for export to other countries