Flood likely to shrink Q4 exports to negative: Shippers’ Council

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BANGKOK, Nov 23 – Thailand’s ongoing flood crisis is forecast to slash 30 per cent of the number of export containers to be shipped overseas in the fourth quarter of this year, posting the deficit of Thai exports during this period, according to Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC) Chairman Paiboon Ponsuwanna.

IT items, hard disk drives, electronic circuit boards and vehicle spare parts are the merchandise affected, as seven industrial parks in the country’s central provinces have been under water.

Rubber was impacted as well, for a decrease in rubber demand was seen in the world market.

He said the ongoing flood situation has created a business loss of Bt350-400 billion, or 3-3.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

However, the shippers’ group viewed that economic growth in Q4 should be positive at about 0.5-1 per cent as he was confident that the Bangchan and Lat Krabang industrial estates in the eastern part of the capital would survive floods.

Mr Paiboon said Thai exports this year would expand 15-17 per cent, thanks to export growth of 15 per cent in Q3, while exports in 2012 in Q1 and Q2 would slow down and were projected to grow 9 per cent as a result of the flood crisis and economic problems in the United States and Europe.

The Thai National Shippers’ Council asked the government to boost Thailand’s economy by selling government bonds or borrowing from overseas in order to rehabilitate basic infrastructure, while asking public and commercial banks to provide a debt moratorium for the private sector who were flood victims.

TNSC also proposed exemptions for value-added taxes and import duty for raw materials and machinery, while asking the Yingluck administration to help restore flooded plants and industrial parks as soon as possible and speed up estimate entrepreneurs’ losses and compensation.