What's new in business news: September 2, 2013 | Bangkok Post: learning

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What's new in business news: September 2, 2013

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Low-income earners vulnerable to govt price hikes, low rubber prices slow south's economy & shrimp epidemic hits Asia. 

ECONOMY

Low-income earners more vulnerable to price hikes 

Low-income earners are bracing themselves for hikes in the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), electricity and expressway tolls this month.

Low-income earners are more vulnerable than high-income earners whenever the cost of living surges, especially those caught in a debt trap. The LPG price hike may also have a ripple effect pushing up food prices.

For several years, LPG had a fixed price for the household and transport sectors, but as energy prices continued to increase, the government decided to end the subsidy gradually and float the price to reflect real costs. 

The cooking gas price began to rise by 50 satang per kg yesterday, and the increase will continue monthly at the same rate until October 2014. By next February, the price will be the same in both sectors, at 21.38 baht. After that, the increase will continue for both sectors until the price reaches 24.82 baht in October 2014, meeting the actual cost of producing LPG.

[Read full story here ]

AGRICULTURE 

Low rubber prices slow southern economy

Declining rubber prices will likely take a toll on the southern economy, with sales of vehicles and housing projects expected to be tepid for a long time. Exporters of rubber products complain their revenue has fallen, as buyers have reduced purchases, particularly buyers in China.

Sales of Honda motorcycles in the five southernmost provinces - Satun, Songkhla, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat - have dropped 20% since last year following rubber prices and reflecting weak purchasing power

Rubber planting and related businesses are major sources of income for southerners alongside fisheries and oil palm plantations. Most rubber planters are small and sell latex for 60 baht a kilogramme, only half what they earned two years ago. In the fisheries sector, shrimp has been hit hard by early mortality syndrome (EMS).

An attack by armed men on protesters in the south yesterday killed one protester.  

[Read full story here and here ]

FISHERIES 

Shrimp epidemic: Shortage & rising prices 

dpa News agency

The latest epidemic to hit Asia's booming shrimp industry, Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), first appeared on Chinese farms in 2009 and gradually spread to Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.

70% of the world's shrimp exports come from these four countries and  Thailand, the world's leading shrimp exporter, was first hit by EMS in late 2012 with shrimp farmers losing as much as 80% of their stock.

The disease seems to spread via the water supply but scientists still don't know much about EMS. They do know that EMS is caused by a virus that infects a bacteria in the shrimp, which is creates a toxin which poisons the animal.

Over the past two or three decades, commercial shrimp farms have been hit by 20 viral and bacterial epidemics and new syndromes. This latest shrimp epidemic is expected to last at least a couple of years.

[Read full story here ]

Learn from listening

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Vocabulary:

actual: real; existing in fact - จริง

armed: carrying a weapon - ติดอาวุธ

attack: to try to score points against an opponent in a game or sport - บุก

bacteria: the simplest and smallest forms of life. Bacteria exist in large numbers in air, water and soil, and also in living and dead creatures and plants, and are often a cause of disease - แบ็กทีเรีย, เชื้อแบกทีเรีย

bacterial: related to bacteria, coming from bacteria - เกี่ยวกับแบ็กทีเรีย, ซึ่งเกิดจากแบ็กทีเรีย

brace: to get ready for something unpleasant - เตรียมใจ

commercial: for business purposes - เกี่ยวกับการค้า

complain: to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not satisfied about somebody/something - บ่น, ร้องทุกข์

cost of living: the amount of money that people need to pay for ordinary goods and services such as food, clothing and a place to live - ค่าครองชีพ

debt: an amount of money that you owe - หนี้, นี้สิน

debt trap: owing a lot of money (making it difficult to pay back) มีหนี้สินมาก -

disease: a health problem and problem with a person's body, often caused by an infection, either from a bacteria or virus - โรค

epidemic: a large number of cases of a particular disease happening at the same time in a particular community - โรคระบาด

fishery: an area of water where fish are caught so they can be sold - พื้นที่ในการจับปลา

fix: to fasten something to something else - ผูก, ติด, ประทับ

float: when something such as an exchange rate or interest rate is allowed to move up and down freely in response to market forces and government does not try to control it -

gradually: slowly and in small stages or amounts - อย่างทีละน้อย

hike: an increase - การเพิ่มสูงขึ้น

household: a group of people, often a family, who live together - ครัวเรือน

income: money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้

infected: having a disease transmitted from someone else - ซึ่งติดเชื้อ

latest: newest; most recent - ] ล่าสุด, See also: ทันสมัยที่สุด, เกิดหลังสุด

latex: a thick white liquid produced by the rubber tree and used for making rubber, paint and glue - ยางสีขาวคล้ายน้ำนมจากพืช, ยางดิบ, น้ำยาง

low-income earners: poor people -

occupation: a job - อาชีพ

particularly: especially, or more than usual - โดยเฉพาะ

poison: a substance that causes death or harm if it is swallowed or absorbed into the body - ยาพิษ

poison: to put poison in or on something - วางยาพิษ

protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง

purchase: something that has been bought - ของที่ซื้อมา

purchasing power: buying power; the ability to buy things, i.e., having enough money to buy things - กำลังซื้อ

revenue: income from taxes or business activities - รายได้

ripple: a small wave on the surface of a liquid that moves outward, especially water in a lake, etc - คลื่นเล็กๆ

ripple effect: when the effect of an event spreads and affects other things -

rubber: a bouncy, elastic material used in car tires and waterproof gloves - กล้ายาง

sector: a part of a country’s economic or business activity - ภาค (เศรษฐกิจ)

stock: an amount of something that you keep so that you can use it when you need it - ที่เก็บไว้ในสต๊อก

subsidy: an amount of money that a government or organisation pays to help to reduce the cost of a product or service - เงินชดเชยที่รัฐเป็นผู้จ่ายให้

surge: a sudden increase in something - การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว

syndrome: a set of feelings or actions that are typical in a particular situation; a medical condition that has a particular set of effects on your body or mind - ลักษณะเชิงซ้อนต่างๆ ที่บ่งบอกถึงสภาพใดสภาพหนึ่ง, อาการของโรคต่างๆ ที่เกิดขึ้นพร้อมๆ กัน

take a toll on: to cause suffering; to cause damage -

tepid: warm when it should be hot; not very excited or enthusiastic when it should be -

toll: the amount of money that a person must pay to travel on a special road or "tollway". -

tollway: a long wide road that you have to pay to drive on - โทลล์เวย์, ทางด่วน

toxins: poisonous substances, especially ones which are produced by bacteria and which cause disease - พิษ

transport: moving people or things from one place to another - การขนส่ง

vehicle: a machine that you travel in or on, especially one with an engine that travels on roads, e.g., a car, bus, van, truck, etc. - ยานพาหนะ

viral: related to a virus, coming from a virus - เกี่ยวกับไวรัส, ซึ่งเกิดจากไวรัส

vulnerable: easily damaged or harmed - ซึ่งถูกทำลายได้ง่าย

water supply: the source of water for people living in an area, usually coming from a reservoir or groundwater - การประปา

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