Illustrative image (Photo: NNT)
Thailand's exports are forecast to grow by 5 percent this year, at the low end of a previous prediction of 5-8 percent growth, said the Thai National Shippers' Council (TNSC).
The TSNC attributed the low prediction to uncertainty over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a shortage of raw materials and volatility in their prices, as well as higher labour costs.
TNSC Chairman Chaichan Chareonsuk said the group has been closely following and evaluating the impact of theRussia-Ukraine conflict and the trade and financial sanctions imposed by the US and EU, which are expected to greatly impact the global and Thai economies, especially in terms of rising production costs due to higher prices of raw materials and energy.
Purchase orders from Thailand's key trading partners are expected to slow because of the conflict, he said.
"As long as the fighting remains limited between the two countries and the foreign exchange rate stays stabilised at an average of 33 baht to the [US] dollar, the council expects Thai exports to grow at 5 percent for the whole year," Chaichan was quoted by the Bangkok Post newspaper as saying.
Exports are likely to increase by 8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, up from 5 percent in the earlier projection and by 2 percent to 4 percent in the second quarter, he said.
In 2021, Thailand's exports jumped 17.1 percent. In the first two months of this year, the country’s exports rose by 12.2 percent to 44.7 billion USD, with imports surging 18.7 percent to 47.1 billion USD, resulting in a trade deficit of 2.4 billion USD./.