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Thai exports low, expected to improve over time

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai exports low, expected to improve over time | Thaiger
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Thai exports have significantly dropped, but the Thai Ministry of Commerce seems to have high hopes that it will get back on track. With the coronavirus prevention measures easing up and businesses getting back to normal, the ministry says the it is on the “path to recovery.”

Thailand’s exports dropped by over 11.37% and imports plummeted by 26.38% when compared to last year’s numbers, according to the ministry’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office. Exports hit a record low in June, falling by 23.2%. It was the lowest it’s been since July 2009, according to director of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office Pimchanok Vonkorpon. She noted that while July’s exports are low, they are much better than they were in June.

“So if you compare June and July, that means that Thai export figures are picking up and gradually recovering.”

She mentioned some specific exports that are increasing. Foods like tapioca, frozen chicken and pork, canned tuna and animal food are increasing in demand. Other items on the rise are furniture, electrical appliances, and household items. Even gold exports are improving, she says.

Pimchanok says she expects Thai exports to increase gradually over the next 5 months, adding that she thinks farm products and food exports will go up.

While Thai exports are picking back up, they’re expected to be down by 8% to 9% by the end of the year. In a statement from the ministry, they say all exports to most of the major trading partners, while lower than previous years, have improved.

“This reflects that exports are likely to improve gradually, now that several countries have succeeded in controlling the Covid-19 situation and eased lockdown measures, along with government stimulus measures to accelerate economic recovery after Covid-19.”

SOURCES: Xinhua |Bangkok Post

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Talk it up Thai ministry, but the figures show Thai imports and exports are on a long slide downwards.
    Exports are the lowest in the last 12 years at 23.2 percent, and the ministry states it is expected to go up 8 percent in July!
    Still bad though even if it happened.

  2. Avatar

    Bobby m

    Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Another sign from the rest of the world. Just like the investments that will not be coming your way.

  3. Avatar

    Ray W.

    Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at 3:29 am

    You’ve locked all the foreigners out, without any accountability, in-person QAQC, and the staggering xenophobia why would thier be exports. Open the boarder, accept and manage the risk, stop the draconian lockdown. We are losing more people to the lock downs then to covid. Its crazy!

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Economy

China grows 18.3%, the only major economy to grow in 2020

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China grows 18.3%, the only major economy to grow in 2020 | Thaiger
PHOTO: China - the second largest economy, and only major economy to grow last year.

China’s economy set a record for growth in Q1, 2021, marking an 18.3% jump in year-on-year figures, the biggest quarterly growth in almost 30 years. China only started publishing growth statistics in 1992, and this drastic increase is the fastest growth recorded since then.

The figures, however impressive, are mainly due to what is called a “low base effect” where the change from a low starting point translates into big percentage statistics. Because of the devastating economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Q1 2020 figures were dismal, allowing the big gain over the last year.

Quarter to quarter, the last 3 months saw only a 0.6% growth, but in the last quarter of 2020 China recorded an economic boom of 6.5% according to the Chinese government. Still, the figures are admirable, as China was the only major economy in the world to achieve growth in 2020. Most of the planet struggled to contain global Covid-19 outbreaks, crippling economies across the globe. But China, now the second-largest economy in the world, managed a 2.3% overall expansion. Even Chinese officials called the impressive statistics “better than we had expected.”

China has been growing in terms of imports and exports as well, with exports expanding nearly 31% and imports up 38% by price over last years.

SOURCE: CNN

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Economy

Thai household debt expected to keep rising- Kasikorn Research

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Thai household debt expected to keep rising- Kasikorn Research | Thaiger

Despite rolling out Covid-19 vaccines, in which could see a faster return to pre-Covid times, Thailand’s household debt is expected to keep rising. Kasikorn Research analysts say it could, in fact, reach 89-91% by the end of the year.

In a recent survey, KResearch says 10.8% of respondents could be stuck in a financial crisis. Of those who may be stuck, they indicated a drop in income, an inability to reduce expenses, and a high debt service burden per month that is exceeding 50% of their monthly incomes. This group of survey respondents is also concerned that it may not be able to provide for its basic needs in the near future.

In the 3rd quarter of 2020 and the year end, the figures were lower, at 86.6%, and 89.2% respectively. The upward trend isn’t unique as loans have increased while the economy has slowed. Almost 20% of household debts now are receiving financial-aid measures from financial institutions. The Bank of Thailand says the end of 2020 say 2.79 trillion baht tied up in financial relief programmes, which is equivalent to the 20%.

Despite government handouts and stimulus measures, the third wave of the pandemic is expected to increase outstanding debt under financial-aid programmes through the end of this month, but analysts say they are likely to not be any higher than the 3rd quarter of 2020. The amount of borrowers who may need further assistance after the relief programmes end in June 2021, is expected to be high.

The Covid vaccination rollout may give more flexibility in ending lockdowns in Thailand, funneling future financial assistance to those who are in serious need. The rollout may signal a switch from the standardized measures that were previously in place for determining who qualifies for financial aid, to a more individualised debt handling policy by financial institutions.

When asked what types of assistance are needed, survey participants ranked liquidity support at the top, followed by job creation that could help them maintain a stable revenue stream. Extension of financial-aid measures ranked 3rd. The rankings, indeed, point towards respondents needing to stabilize their platform of revenue first, before needing financial help.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer

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Economy

2 emergency decrees provide businesses financial help

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2 emergency decrees provide businesses financial help | Thaiger
PHOTO: 2 Decrees aim for financial relief for struggling businesses

Thailand enacted 2 new emergency decrees today aimed at providing assistance to businesses and reducing default interest rates to help people affected by Covid-19. A deputy government spokeswoman confirmed the needed action was critical to protect and aid entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises during the time of pandemic-driven economic crisis.

The goal was to combat unfair interest rates on debt many are suffering, and to provide loans to help keep businesses afloat as the end of the Coronavirus is nowhere in sight.

The Emergency Decree on the Provision of Financial Assistance for Entrepreneurs Affected By the Covid-19 Pandemic allocates 250 billion baht in loans for businesses to recover from the devastating economic effects of the global pandemic. 100 billion baht of this is specifically set aside for those businesses in debt to participate in asset warehousing or debt repurchasing plans.

Asset warehousing allows businesses, like hotels, to essentially store their property in the care of a creditor for a fee until the economy recovers enough to take over the property again and start making money with it again. Debt repurchasing is a process for a business to buy back its own debt with better terms or a lower rate with the purchase price considered a payment to the principal debt not the interest, similar to refinancing a home.

The second of the emergency decrees, an amendment to the Civil and Commercial Code, looks to close loopholes caused by ambiguity in the law that allowed predatory creditors to charge unreasonable interest rates.

If someone missed a loan payment, the original law did not set a default rate, so lenders could charge additional interest. Debtors can now base default rate calculations on the unpaid principal in the updated law. The new decree sets a 3% yearly interest rate and lowers the default rate to 5% a year from the originally 7.5%. The Finance Ministry declared interest rates would be revised every 3 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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