What's new in business news: August 13, 2013

What's new in business news: August 13, 2013

Bangkok hotel rooms up 12% but no change in room rates, farmers accept once a year subsidies at higher price & govt rice stocks still a secret.


Farmers accept once-a-year sale

Only those in central region will be affected

Farmers say they are willing to accept the government's latest proposal to continue buying paddy at 15,000 baht a tonne under the pledging scheme for the 2013-14 main crop but limit pledging to only once a year.

But they demand the government improve the pledging process by allowing farmer representatives to participate in inspecting rice quality and moisture content, as well as millers' preservation methods.

The government should also support farmers by helping them grow more high-quality rice varieties and reduce their production costs and chemical use.

Most farmers in the North and Northeast and those outside irrigation areas can grow rice only once a year anyway.

Those affected are farmers in the well-irrigated central region who can grow rice more than once a year.

The government is likely to face heavy protests from farmers in the central region.

Farmers from the Northeast will for sure accept the latest proposal by the government, as their production cost stands at only 4,500-5,500 baht a tonne.

According to the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI)'s estimates, of Thailand's 4 million rice-farming households, over 3 million now grow rice once a year, leaving only 800,000-900,000 families growing more than once a year (the second crops) mostly in the central region.

The government's latest proposal would for sure help reduce fiscal pressure, as it will limit the amount of paddy into the scheme.

He estimated the new proposal would help cut paddy entering the scheme by 20% from 20 million tonnes.


Rice stockpile size still a secret

The amount of rice in state stockpiles under the government's rice pledging scheme remains a mystery, even after a sweeping inspection was done on more than 2,000 warehouses nationwide on June 27.

The total figure gathered by the police is estimated to be 1 million tonnes short of what the Finance Ministry's committee tasked with handling the scheme's accounts shows.

The government asked the police to inspect the rice stored at warehouses taking part in the scheme in late June after discrepancies were found in the accounts of the committee and the Commerce Ministry.

As of Friday the government had yet to see the report, the source said, adding that the delay is likely to prolong the scheme's auditing process.

But a high-ranking police officer said the report has already been submitted to the government. 

The cabinet approved a budget limit of 500 billion baht for all farm pledging schemes, but 759 billion has been spent so far.

To date, the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives has been repaid 114 billion baht from the Commerce Ministry for the money it paid to farmers.

This means the Commerce Ministry faces an uphill task in selling as much rice as possible to get funds for the scheme and stay within the budget limit.

For the current 2012-13 crop, 21 million tonnes of rice have been pledged with the bank for 310 billion baht, still within the budget limit for the crop of 22 million tonnes (340 billion baht).


Bangkok hotel room supply up 12.1%

The number of hotel rooms in Bangkok grew 12.1% year-on-year with the completion of six new hotels in the first half of 2013, lifting the total to 37,500 rooms in downtown Bangkok.

4,400 additional rooms are projected by the end of 2015, bringing the total to almost 42,000.  This projection represents an 11.9% increase on current figures.

Almost all of the new hotels are high-rise buildings. The most popular area for hotel development remains the Ploenchit/Sukhumvit area with 65% of the total hotel supply and four out of six new hotels opened in this area. The Silom/Sathorn area accounted for 21% of the total hotel stock while the Riverside area accounted for 14%.

Approximately 2,250 new rooms at various levels of accommodation will be completed in the second half of 2013. 

The big challenge for hotel owners is to raise the room rates which have not grown significantly for the last five years.  The second half of 2013 may finally see the growth in visitor arrivals outpacing new supply allowing owners to raise rates.

He said there is a significant opportunity for economy hotels in Thailand as many more visitors want consistency in quality as well as value for money but currently there are a limited number of players with branded product in this market. 

Several hotel operators have announced plans to open budget hotels in Bangkok. Central Plaza Hotel (CENTEL), known as a high-end hotel operator in Thailand under the brand “Centara”, has jumped into this segment and introduced their new economy brand ”COSI”.  The Erawan Group (ERW), a listed hotel developer, has also introduced their new budget hotel brand “Hop Inn”, targeting to open 30 Hop Inn hotels in Thailand.

Learn from listening

Click play to listen to audio for this story, or download to save the file
: :


  • (market) segment: a particular part of a market for a product - ส่วนตลาด
  • accommodation: a place for someone to stay, live, or work - ที่พัก
  • account: a written record of money that is owed to a business and of money that has been paid by it - บัญชี
  • account for: to be the reason why something exists or happens, to give an explanation for something bad that has happened - อธิบาย, ให้เหตุผลสำหรับ, เป็นเหตุผลของ
  • additional: more; more than was first mentioned or is usual - ที่เพิ่มขึ้น
  • announce: to tell people something officially, especially about a decision, plans, etc - ประกาศ, แจ้ง, แจ้งให้ทราบ
  • approve: to give official permission - อนุมัต
  • approximately: used to show that something is almost, but not completely, accurate or correct - โดยประมาณ
  • arrival: when someone reaches where they are going (arrives) - ขาเข้า การเข้ามา
  • audit: to officially examine the financial records of a company, organisation, or person to see that they are accurate - สอบบัญชี
  • brand: a type of product made by a particular company - ตรา, ยี่ห้อ
  • budget: an amount of money able to be spent on something - งบประมาณ
  • budget: not expensive, usually because of providing only a limited service or product - ถูก,ประหยัด,ไม่แพง
  • cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
  • challenge: something that needs a lot of skill, energy, and determination to deal with or achieve - สิ่งที่ท้าทาย, การท้าทาย
  • consistency (noun): the quality of always behaving in the same way or of having the same opinions, standard, etc; the quality of being consistent - ความสม่ำเสมอ
  • contents: what is inside something - จำนวนของสิ่งที่บรรจุอยู่
  • cooperative: a business or farm owned and run by the people involved, with the profits shared by them - สมาคมสหกรณ์
  • crop: a plant grown for food, usually on a farm - พืชผล
  • current: of the present time - ปัจจุบัน
  • currently: at this time; now - ในปัจจุบัน
  • delay: when you have to wait longer than expected for something to happen, or the time that you have to wait - การเลื่อน, การเสียเวลา
  • demand: a very firm request for something - ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง
  • developer (noun): real estate developer, a person or company that builds new "real estate developments" including buildings, houses, shopping centers, etc - นักพัฒนาที่ดิน
  • development: the process of using an area of land, especially to make a profit by building on it, etc - การพัฒนา
  • discrepancy: a difference between two or more things that should be the same - ความแตกต่างกันระหว่างสองสิ่งที่ควรจะเหมือนกัน
  • downtown: In the city - ในตัวเมือง
  • economy (adj): not expensive; inexpensive; cheap - ถูก, ราคาถูก
  • estimate: an amount that you guess or calculate using the information available - ประมาณการ
  • figure: a number representing a particular amount, especially one given in official information - ตัวเลข, จำนวนเลข
  • fiscal (adj.): connected with a budget; connected with the government budget, i.e., public money - เกี่ยวกับงบประมาณ
  • fund: money provided for something - เงินทุน กองทุน
  • handle: to be able deal with a situation - ควบคุมได้, จัดการได้
  • high-end: expensive and of high quality; having a lot of money to spend - มีคุณภาพ
  • high-rise: a building is very tall with many floors or levels - อาคาร ซึ่งมีหลายชั้น
  • household: a group of people, often a family, who live together - ครัวเรือน
  • improve: to make better - ทำให้ดีขึ้น
  • inspect: to look at something carefully - ตรวจสอบ, ตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
  • inspection: an official process of checking that things are in the correct condition or that people are doing what they should - การตรวจสอบตรวจตรา
  • irrigation: the process of supplying water to an area of land through pipes or channels so that crops will grow - การชลประทาน
  • latest (adj): newest; most recent - ] ล่าสุด, See also: ทันสมัยที่สุด, เกิดหลังสุด
  • method: a particular way of doing something - วิธีการ,วิธีดำเนินการ
  • miller (noun): a person who owns or works in a mill - เจ้าของโรงสี
  • moisture: a small amount of water or another liquid in the air, on the surface of something, or in a substance - ความชื้น
  • mystery: not explained or known - สิ่งที่ไม่สามารถอธิบายได้, ความแปลกประหลาด, ลึกลับ
  • nationwide: throughout a whole country - ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
  • operator (noun): a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
  • opportunity (noun): a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something - โอกาส
  • paddy: rice as it comes from the field after harvest - ข้าวเปลือก
  • participate: to take part in or become involved in an activity - มีส่วน
  • player (noun): a person, organization or company involved in some activity or industry -
  • popular (adj): a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people - เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
  • preservation: keeping something as it is, especially in order to prevent it from being damaged or destroyed - การสงวน
  • pressure: (of a force) to press against something - กดดัน, อัด, บีบ
  • process: a series of things that happen, especially ones that result in natural changes - ขบวนการ, ,การเปลี่ยนแปลง
  • production: the process of growing or making food, goods or materials, especially large quantities - การผลิต
  • projected: calculated based on information already known - คาดคะเน, ประเมิน
  • projection: a calculation or guess about the future based on information that you have - การคาดคะเน
  • prolong: to cause to continue for a long time - ยืดเวลาออกไป
  • proposal: a plan or suggestion for a group to consider - ข้อเสนอ
  • protest: a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something - ชุมนุมประท้วง
  • quality: the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it; how good or bad something is - คุณภาพ
  • rank: someone’s official position in the armed forces, police, fire services, etc. - ยศ, ตำแหน่ง
  • reduce: to make something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc - ลดลง
  • region: a large area of land or space, usually without exact limits or borders - ภูมิภาค, ขอบเขต, แถบ, บริเวณ
  • remain: to still be present after the other parts have been removed, used, etc; to continue to exist - ยังเหลืออยู่
  • representative: someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them - ผู้แทน
  • rice pledging scheme: a government programme in which a fixed price, in this case well above the market price, is offered to rice farmers for their harvested rice - การจำนำข้าว
  • significant: important - สำคัญ
  • significantly: in an important way - อย่างมีความหมาย, อย่างสำคัญ
  • so far: up until this time - จนถึงทุกวันนี้
  • stockpile: a large collection of things that may be needed - สิ่งที่เก็บสะสมไว้ คลังสินค้า
  • submit: to formally give something to someone so that can make a decision about it - ยื่น (เอกสาร) เพื่อการพิจารณา
  • supply (noun): an amount or quantity of something that is available to buy or use - อุปทาน
  • sweep: to move or spread quickly through an area; to move something or someone with powerful force - เคลื่อนไปอย่างรวดเร็ว, พัดพาเอาไป
  • take part in (verb): to join and be part of some activity; participate as a participant - เข้าร่วม มีส่วนร่วม
  • target: something you want to achieve; a particular number or amount that you want to achieve - เป้าหมาย
  • task: to give someone a particular responsibility - หน้าที่
  • to date: until now -
  • uphill task: a job or duty that is very difficult to accomplish - ภารกิจซึ่งยากลำบาก
  • varieties (plural noun): a type of a thing, for example a plant or language, that is different from the others in the same general group - พันธุ์
  • various: several different - หลากหลาย, ซึ่งแตกต่างกัน
  • warehouse: a large building for storing things - โกดังสินค้า, คลังสินค้า, โรงพัสดุ
  • year-on-year (adjective): the amount or statistic for a period this year (month, quarter, half-year) compared to last year -
Do you like the content of this article?