Export projection lowered

Thai exporters have slashed their growth projection to 4.6% this year, citing slowing consumption by trading partners and depressed prices as well as government intervention that has caused Thai products to lose competitiveness internationally.

The Thai National Shippers' Council (TNSC), a group of nearly 3,000 exporters, revised down its export growth estimate for this year from 5.9% previously, based on lower shipments in July and August.

Commerce Ministry figures showed that exports declined by 6.95% year-on-year in August to a value of US$19.8 billion.

This followed a 4.46% year-on-year drop in July to $19.5 billion.

The current export estimate is in line with forecasts by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that the global economy will expand within a range of 2.5% to 3.5% this year, the TNSC said in a statement released yesterday.

"Exports to Europe will be hit the hardest, as European banks have become reluctant to extend credit lines to the private sector there, while Thai exporters are hesitant to trade with customers that cannot open letters of credit to ensure payment," said TNSC chairman Paiboon Ponsuwanna.

Some export items face pricing pressures including fresh chicken meat, although it is now allowed in by Europe.

US customers, meanwhile, have tightened their spending and turned to cheaper shrimp imports from India, Vietnam and Indonesia, said Mr Paiboon.

About the author

Writer: Nareerat Wiriyapong
Position: Business Reporter