BANGKOK, 16 July 2015 – The Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) secretary-general Lersak Rewtrakulpaiboon revealed that in the first half of 2015, the economic growth in agricultural sector shrank by 4.2% from the same period of last year despite several positive factors such as the recovering global economy, slight weakness of the Baht currency and a lower price of crude oil in the global market.
He said the falling oil price was a major factor which has narrowed purchasing power of Thailand’s trade partners in Middle East and Africa, resulting in a 9.4% decrease in revenue Thailand earned from agricultural-based exports. The reduction of the revenue has been aggravated with the ongoing drought disaster since late-2014.
Mr.Lersak said the OAE still keeps monitoring the drought and dry spell situation closely in order to prepare measures to cushion impacts on farmers. In parallel, the OAE needs to keep an eye on the recession of Chinese economy to reduce negative impact on Thai economy.
According to Mr.Lersak, in the second half of 2015, the OAE expected the agricultural economy would continue dropping to an estimated contraction of between -4.3 and -3.3 for agricultural products and services. On the other hand, the livestock, fisheries, and forestry sectors remain growing well.