The Thai baht has had an interesting year. Having strengthened to levels in mid-April not seen since the 1997 Asian crisis, it’s been on a depreciation ride since, sliding back from 28.62 to the dollar to over 31.
So that should give exports a boost, shouldn’t it? Not in the last couple of months. Read more
By Jake Maxwell Watts and Gwen Robinson in Bangkok
The heated debate in Thailand about whether the central bank should intervene to stem the biggest rise in the baht in 16 years intensified this week as a survey of Thai companies revealed that almost 10 per cent of entrepreneurs claim they would go out of business if the baht rose further to 27.90 to the dollar.
Thailand’s currency was hovering around 28.90 to the dollar on Thursday, down from 28.56 last week, but still nearly 6 per cent higher than at the beginning of the year. The baht’s steady appreciation has been largely driven by inflows of foreign capital seeking strong returns from Thailand’s booming economy and exiting Japan. Read more
The yen shock has sent shudders around Japan’s Asian exporter rivals, not least Thailand.
The baht has soared spreading consternation among exporters. But even in a country where exports are over 75 per cent of GDP, the picture isn’t as simple as it seems. First, currency isn’t the only determinant of export competitiveness in a world of complex trade flows. And second, there could be benefits to Thailand in the expected outflow of Japanese money seeking higher yields in emerging markets. Read more
The Thai baht hit a 16-year record on Tuesday, appreciating another 0.8 per cent and falling below 29 to the dollar for the first time since the Asian financial crisis of 1997.
The baht touched 28.93 to the dollar at one point, before weakening to just over 29. It’s a worry for policy makers, who have seen the baht appreciate by over 5 per cent already this year alone, but who don’t seem to have a lot of options. Read more
A quick look at Thailand’s record stock market returns and robust GDP growth (6.6 per cent last year), and you might forget there is still a global economic crisis going on. But however isolated Thailand may seem from the world’s spluttering rich economies, February’s export figures are proof that it is not. Read more
What rebound? After the catastrophic floods of late 2011, Thailand should by now be hoping for something closer to normality in terms of trade.
Instead, it’s got the biggest trade deficit on record in January – a whopping 5.5bn, the largest since 1991. What’s going on? Read more
Gold jewellery has a special place in Indian culture – it plays a part in weddings, in prayer and – most importantly – in general social exhibition. But does anyone know where their shiny yellow metal actually comes from?
On Wednesday, India’s trade ministry recommended that gold jewellery should be excluded from the country’s free trade agreement with Thailand, amid concerns that neighbouring countries are routing their trade through Thailand to dodge duties. Read more
Thai exports last month posted their biggest increase in over a year as the country’s factories recovered from floods and global demand picked up after a sluggish summer.
Even so, the 15.6 per cent rise fell short of expectations as economists had pencilled in 20 per cent. That gives the central bank a little more reason to cut rates when it meets on Thursday, though most forecasters still expect the Bank of Thailand to leave rates unchanged at 2.75 per cent following last month’s surprise reduction. Read more
Thailand’s economy grew at a 3 per cent year on year in the third quarter, a slight decrease from Q2 but in line with analysts’ expectations.
But as data released on Monday show, the pattern of the previous four quarters is now entrenched – Thai GDP is being dragged down by its poor export performance. Chart of the week takes a closer look. Read more