Drought & strict bank rules push down rice & auto sales


BANGKOK, 22 July 2015 – Exporters have slashed projections of rice and vehicle sales for this year, due mainly to the lengthy dry season and strict bank credit rules.

Thai Rice Exporters has scaled down its sales forecast from 10 million tons to 9.5 million tons, or 4.7 million dollars. The main cause is the unusually long drought that shrank rice production by 15-20 percent or 3-4 million tons. This has also led to a shortage of unmilled rice and a jump in its price accordingly.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has reduced its domestic sales forecast from 950,000 units to 850,000 units, but retains its export target of 120,000 units. The FTI attributed its downward sales forecast to banks’ stricter credit rules, which require a 30 percent down payment instead of the previous 10 percent, in order to prevent a rise in household debt.

The FTI may adjust its export volume in the next three months, should negative factors become more pronounced.