Futile plans and hopes on the wake of “new wave” - Thailand

Jun 25: Council of Shippers of Thailand (TNSC), revealed that TNSC recently participated in Asian Shippers' Alliance (ASA) and European Shippers Council Online Meeting, to discuss urgent matters of container crisis and freight rates increase. Never experienced before on such a scale, shipping crisis has become a direct threat to national economies. Each affected country’s Trade Competition Commissions are to get letters, asking them to investigate into unfair practices of major shipping companies, specifically container shipping companies. Respective Commissions are asked to study freight rates calculations and the difference between imposed rates and factual operational costs of the ships. It is advised also, to look into shipping majors merges, which exclude effective competition, and lead to monopolization.
Some 30% of Thailand export goods cost, as of now, account for shipping cost, but if it’s a low-cost product, shipping share is 50% and above.
All concerned Shippers parties agreed also, to address a letter to IMO, with urgent request to look into this matter, and to support Shippers in this standoff.

29 Jun: The Industry Ministry may revise up its 2021 manufacturing production index (MPI) in July after it increased by 25.8% in May and reached 100.47 points year-on-year, the highest increase in five years since 2016, says the Office of Industrial Economics (OIE).
Despite the need to keep a close watch on the third wave of Covid-19, which is affecting many factories, Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit remains optimistic, saying factories have only shut down some production temporarily and this will not have a serious impact on the sector. The OIE earlier expected the MPI to grow by 2-3% and industry GDP to expand by 2.5-3% this year.
According to the OIE, Thai exports in May expanded by 41.5%, helping boost the capacity utilisation rate. "The capacity utilisation rate was 65.3% in May, compared to 52.1% in the same period last year," Mr Suriya said.
The minister said the global economy continues to recover because many countries have vaccinated their populations and eased lockdown measures, which has helped build business confidence and boost trade.
From January to May, the MPI index increased to 100.7 points, compared with 93.3 points in the same period last year thanks to more production of electronics products, home appliances, steel, chemical products, furniture and paper packaging, according to OIE. In May, car manufacturing increased by 151.44% year-on-year while air conditioner production increased by 90.25% year-on-year.
Despite good export prospects for manufacturers, Thongchai Chawalitpichaet, director-general of the OIE, said his agency is worried about the third wave which may eventually affect the Thai industry, the export sector as well as production capacity.

New wave is destroying the economy
It’s July last decade now, and Thailand is in grips of new “wave” of new “covid variant”, with some governmental agencies counting it as “second wave”, while other governmental agencies believe it’s a “third wave”. Thailand rolled out a mass test positive campaign since May, and as as of now, main industrial provinces and nation’s capital Bangkok, suffer lockdowns and movement restrictions, which are made more strict with each new day, and “infection cases” record numbers.
“Supant Mongkolsuthree from the Federation of Thai Industries has expressed scepticism that the tightening of restrictions in 13 high-risk provinces will bring the virus under control. Instead, he says the proposal could cost the economy around 100 billion baht and will be ineffective without the rollout of mass testing and vaccination.
Supant disagrees with the idea of a “Wuhan-style” lockdown, as suggested by the head of the Department of Disease Control, Opas Karnkawinpong. The DDC chief had suggested the extreme measure could be implemented within the next 2 weeks if Covid-19 cases continue to rise. However, Supant says such a policy would see the whole production sector grind to a halt, leading to economic devastation.”

There was economy growth in Q1, but only thanks to the fact, that nation was living more or less normal life. It’s very simple, basically. Normal thriving economy requires normal life. Normal economy and “new normal” are absolutely incompatible statuses, like matter and anti matter.
June – July 2021

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