By The Nation
The Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC) said the appreciating baht has had an adverse impact on Thai exports and its competitiveness.
Visit Limluecha, TNSC vice chairman, says the rising Thai currency has negatively affected the orders of Thai products and if exporters did not hedge against currency exchange risks, they would suffer losses.
The Thai currency is predicted to stay volatile and difficult to forecast, he said.
In the past few days, the baht has been much stronger after the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments that policymakers would be flexible in deciding future interest rate hikes and reducing the Fed’s balance sheet, raising the possibility of a pause in the Fed’s interest-rate hiking pace in response to the downside risks to the US economy.
The Fed’s rate decision affects the US dollar and other currencies across the world as trade is mainly done in the US dollar.
Visit said that Thailand will likely see impacts on orders of Thai products in the second quarter of this year.
If the baht appreciates by Bt1 per US dollar, Thai products will be affected by 3-4 per cent of selling prices, he said. But if the selling price is no more than Bt0.50 apiece, the impact will be about 1 per cent of the selling price.
If the Thai currency appreciates, Thailand will lose competitiveness against its rivalry countries, he said.
In the last quarter of 2018, TNSC forecast the baht to stay in a range of 32.50 -33 per US dollar.
If the baht continues to appreciate, TNSC may have to reassess the situation and make a new forecast, he said. Meanwhile, if currencies of Thailand’s competitors move in line with the baht, the situation may be acceptable, he said.
HEARING ON SRT PLOT
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will commercially develop its 108-rai plot at the Khon Kaen station at a cost of between Bt5 billion and Bt8 billion, said SRT acting governor Worawut Mala.
He was speaking at a market-sounding forum held for private investors yesterday on the development of the existing land plot, currently being used as staff residences, office building and a golf court at the Khon Kaen station.
The plot will be enhanced into different zones: 16.2 rais of transit-oriented development or Zone B including residential units, commercial buildings, office and retail units; 16.5 rais of Zone C and Zone D for the development of hotel, convention and exhibition centre; 58.6 rais of Zone E for the development of fun park and recreation areas; and eight rais of Zone F for the development of cluster-based office buildings and residential units for SRT staff.
Zone A, which has already passed the bidding process and not included in this project, is earmarked for the development of a market and a residential development.
"Today is the first day for market-sounding. We have brought market analysis and ideas raised by our consultants to a hearing of private investors and related stakeholders. We want to confirm that the format of our development project can be changed and adjusted depending on the view of project developers. After this, we will enter into the field area to hear comments from nearby communities in order to make this a practical project. We expect to conclude all the development formats in the next three to four months," he said.