The continued appreciation of the Thai baht is taking its toll on some Thai exports, the chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) said Friday, urging the Bank of Thailand to respond with measures to cushion the impact.
Citing a survey of 39 industrial groups affected by the baht strengthening, Phayungsak Chartsutipol said the industries hardest hit by the stronger baht accounts for 30 per cent of those surveyed, including the clothing, textiles, ceramics, agricultural and processed products industries.
Among those heavily-affected industries — 41 per cent of those surveyed — are sawmills, wood drying factories, air-conditioning parts, instant foods, auto parts for export, and medicines.
The baht was trading yesterday at a 13-year high of 30.82/85 to the US dollar, compared with 33.15 baht in January. The 7.6% increase is the highest in the region behind the Malaysian ringgit.
The FTI has proposed six remedies for the export sector, starting with an explicit acknowledgement by the government that rises in export goods prices are reducing exporters’ competitiveness against their rivals.
It said the central bank needed to intervene more in the currency market to stabilise the exchange rate so the gains are more in line with those of other regional currencies.
As well, the FTI said, both the government and the central bank should take immediate measures to prevent speculators from pursuing short-term profits.
It is also asking the Port Authority of Thailand to lower service fees for exporters for three months. Customs duties for exports should also be reduced.