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Canned tuna. (Photo: Stock File)

Strong Thai currency stops canned tuna export growth

Click on the flag for more information about Thailand THAILAND
Wednesday, July 05, 2017, 23:10 (GMT + 9)

Everything seems to indicate that Thai canned tuna exports will not be able to hit the goal of THB 80 billion (USD 2.3 billion) due to the stronger local currency against the American dollar, forecasts the Thai Tuna Industry Association (TTIA) chairperson Chanintr Chalisarapong.

The TTIA leader explained that this issue has led to make similar products from other countries more attractive alternatives for customers, the Bangkok Post reported.

"The baht continues to rise further and it is adversely affecting our exports," said Chalisarapong.

Meanwhile, the leader has urged action from the government and the Bank of Thailand to stabilise the local currency in order to support exports, which account for more than 60 per cent of the country's GDP.

Chalisarapong's comment echoed concerns expressed by exporters from other sectors and the Federation of Thai Industries, which also forecast exports would decline in the second half of this year because of the strengthening local currency.

However, the total Thai exports in May bucked expectations with the export value jumping 13.2 per cent year-on-year to USD 19.9 billion, the highest in more than four years with the global economic recovery boosting demand.

Further issues affecting canned tuna prices that were outlined by Chalisarapong were rising production costs and the weak global oil price. The latter is having a negative impact in the purchase power in Middle East countries, which are the main exports markets for the Thai canned tuna.

Given this situation, tuna exporters are also diversifying into other emerging markets to help offset falls in exports to the Middle East. The new markets with strong buying potentials are South Africa, Latin America and Asian countries.

Chalisarapong added that he has been working closely with the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) to seek ways to support the tuna exporters and those from other sectors.

The JSCCIB forecasts Thai export growth of 3-3.5 per cent this year, lower than the optimistic prediction of 5 per cent by the Commerce Ministry.
 
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