Shippers: Exports down, baht too strong

Shippers: Exports down, baht too strong

Container ships dock at Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri province. The Thai National Shippers' Council on Tuesday predicted exports would fall by 2.5-3.0% this year. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Container ships dock at Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri province. The Thai National Shippers' Council on Tuesday predicted exports would fall by 2.5-3.0% this year. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Thai National Shippers' Council predicts overall exports this year will be down 2.5-3% this year on 2018, and wants the Bank of Thailand to stop the baht's appreciation.

TNSC chair Ghanyapad Tantipipatpong said on Tuesday the forecast shipment figures were based on an exchange rate of 33±0.5 baht per US dollar.

She said the council saw no positive factors for exports amid negative factors including the trade war between China and the United States, the baht's appreciation and the protests in Hong Kong.

Ms Ghanyapad said China and the US had yet to agree on many trade issues, including US farm products and intellectual property protection, and the US had intervened in China's affairs by announcing its support for the protesters in Hong Kong.

The currency continued to strengthen because the baht was seen as a safe haven asset, like Japan's yen. However, its appreciation was affecting all categories of exports, she said.

The Bank of Thailand should enact strong measures to prevent the currency appreciating further; the Revenue Department should support dollar-based payments; and the ministries of commerce, finance and transport should introduce urgent measures to reduce production and logistic costs related to foreign trade, Ms Ghanyapad said.


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