Thursday, October 01, 2020

Covid-19 pandemic will significantly bring down value of Thai trade: UTCC

Jul 30. 2020
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By THE NATION

The University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC)’s Centre for International Trade Studies has estimated that the Covid-19 pandemic will reduce the value of Thai trade by Bt423.05 billion to Bt1.02 trillion.

The centre’s director Aat Pisanwanich said the industries most affected by the pandemic were automobiles, motorcycles and auto parts, whose values are estimated at between Bt129.36 billion and Bt314.619 billion.

The other industries to be affected include electrical appliances and electronics, plastic, fuel, chemicals and food and beverages.

Aat also said that the value of overall Thai exports during 2020 will stand at around US$222.74 billion (about Bt7 trillion), contracting by 9.6 per cent to 13.5 per cent, the lowest since 2009.

He said exports in the first half of this year dropped by 7.1 per cent and is expected to hit 20 per cent in the worst-case scenario as the number of Covid-19 patients across the world continue rising daily and the demand of products from Thailand’s trade partners keeps dropping.

Other factors affecting Thai exports are the China-India conflicts as well as the conflict between China, the US and Hong Kong, along with the upcoming US presidential elections.

However, he said, the relaxing of lockdown measures in several countries is benefiting Thai exports.

Aat said if a Covid-19 vaccine is successfully found in the third quarter, then Thai exports will contract by Bt423.05 billion, but if it is only found in the fourth quarter, then the value of Thai exports will drop by Bt729.246 billion.

In the worst-case scenario of no vaccine being found this year, the centre estimates that Thailand will lose Bt1.028 trillion in export.

The director, however, reckons that sales of some products such as processed food and beverages, seasoning, animal feed and rubber gloves may rise amid the pandemic.

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