The Thai National Shippers Council (TNSC) has lowered its projection of the country’s export growth in 2015 to only 1.5 per cent from the 2.5 per cent forecast earlier.
It attributed negative factors that remain shadowing the industry.
TNSC chairman Nopporn Thepsithar said there were signs that Thailand’s export growth this year would fall to 1.5 per cent due to several negative factors..
They included an expected slowdown in global economy to 3 per cent in 2015, a cut in the Generalised System of Preferences by the European Union for several developing countries, including Thailand, a relocation of production bases to Thailand’s neighbouring countries, a shortage of labour, falling prices of agricultural products and the volatility of the Thai baht.
He expected the baht would strengthen to 32 baht against the US dollar during the first half of 2015 and would later weaken to 33 baht.
Exports to key markets, such as the United States are expected to grow only 5 per cent and to Japan 3 per cent while to European markets to decline 4 per cent, he said.
Thai exporters should find new overseas markets to replace current markets whose economies are projected to slow down while producers must also boost efficiency so that their products could compete abroad, he suggested.
On the declining oil prices by now as much as 40 per cent, he said cheaper oil prices won’t help increase exports during the first half of this year but will assist in the long-term if oil prices fall below 50 US dollars per barrel.
Thailand earned about 227.57 billion baht in exports in 2014, down 0.41 per cent from 2013.