Computer shortage looming

Computer shortage looming

Dearth seen from May to June, says Advice

Shoppers flock to IT fair Commart at Bitec to check out computers and gadgets on Thursday. The four-day event wraps up on Sunday. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Shoppers flock to IT fair Commart at Bitec to check out computers and gadgets on Thursday. The four-day event wraps up on Sunday. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Thailand's computer market risks a shortage by the middle of this year while slower demand can be expected because of the sluggish economy, according to IT distributor Advice.

Chukkrit Watcharasaksilp, chief of sales and marketing at Advice, said a shortage is likely in May to June if the fresh Covid lockdowns in China hobble producers.

The company has enough inventory for two to three months, he said.

Most retailers completed advance orders last year and the products have been shifted to Thailand, said Mr Chukkrit.

He indicated the growth of IT product sales is expected to be slower than last year due to economic woes and many users have crucially bought IT products over the past two years.

"If the lockdown in China prolongs, plus the weaker baht and protracted Russian-Ukraine war, we are likely to see a rise in computer prices around the middle of this year," he said.

According to him, popular computer notebooks are in the range of 18,000-19,000 baht while popular gaming computers range from 25,900-40,000 baht.

Advice will sponsor a pre-season football friendly match between Manchester United and Liverpool in Thailand this July.

"The event will put our brand in the sports marketing while we are preparing to launch an IPO later this year," said Mr Chukkrit. "Youngsters are high potential targets for computing devices."

Pornchai Jantarasupasang, director for IT media and event at ARIP, organiser of IT fair Commart, stressed the first-quarter Commart, which kicked off on Thursday, has no supply shortage.

The four-day event runs until Sunday at Bitec.

Despite economic challenges, IT equipment is necessary but consumers are likely to be more selective and cautious before making a decision.

The event is likely to see at least 3 billion baht in sales, similar to the event held in the final quarter of last year, Mr Pornchai noted. Around 500,000 visitors are expected.

"There is still pent-up demand for notebooks and tailor-made computers from people working from home and studying online," Mr Pornchai said.

All major IT retail chains booked more space for this Commart to boost sales opportunities while the number of small retailers contracted around 20% from the last event due to the lack of cash flow and inventory.

Takon Niyomthai, head of IT business development at IT retail chain Com7, expected the impact of China's lockdown would last one to two months while the firm has enough inventory for at least three months.


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