Thailand braces for Houthi attacks impact: export activities remain unaffected

Photo taken from Bangkok Post

With the recent Houthi attacks on pivotal shipping routes in the Red Sea, the Commerce Ministry of Thailand is strategising both immediate and long-term measures to mitigate the potential fallout. Despite these attacks, the ministry has confirmed that the country’s export activities remain unaffected.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Keerati Rushchano, following an urgent meeting with the Thailand National Shippers’ Council (TNSC), overseas trade promotion offices, and related agencies, conveyed his assessment that the impact of these Houthi attacks is likely to be temporary.

He stated…

“Our initial projections suggest that Thailand’s overall exports should not see any significant disruptions this year, even though we are preparing for any eventualities.”

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Keerati expressed concerns about potential shortages of containers and container spaces, harking back to the port congestion experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic. This could potentially result in higher production costs and increased competition for shipping space, particularly during festive periods such as the Chinese New Year.

To address these challenges, Keerati revealed that the International Trade Promotion Department and Internal Trade Department will be meeting shipping lines and the TNSC over the next week.

Strategies to prevent exploitation

The aim is to gather information about shipping costs and devise strategies to prevent freight pricing exploitation, ensuring fairness in this crucial sector.

he added…

“Regulatory action will only be our last resort. We are keen on implementing cooperative measures first,”

Keerati also acknowledged that delayed shipments could affect small-scale exporters, potentially causing liquidity issues for them. He assured that the Export-Import Bank of Thailand is prepared to handle such situations.

The TNSC chairman, Chaichan Chareonsuk, confirmed that the council is keeping a close watch on the situation and is ready to engage in discussions with shipping lines. The primary agenda would be obtaining information on the additional costs for containers that have already left Thailand and those soon to be dispatched.

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