Thailand’s exports forecast to slide 5 percent in 2020 hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: Internet)
Bangkok (VNA) - The Thai National Shippers' Council (TNSC) forecast the country’s outbound shipments to drop as much as 5 percent this year, local media reported.

TNSC Chairwoman Ghanyapad Tantipipatpong said the strong baht remains a key risk weighing on export prospects in 2020, along with drought and the latest US – Iran tensions.

For the first 11 months last year, Thai exports fell by 2.8 percent from the same period a year earlier to 227 billion USD.

The council estimated Thai export growth at 0 – 1 percent to 251.25 billion USD if the baht stays at an average of 30.50 to the US dollar this year, Ghanyapad said.

If the baht strengthens to 29, exports are estimated to shrink by 2.8 percent to 242.99 billion USD. Exports may shrink by 5 percent to 237.49 billion USD if the baht appreciates past 28.50 to the dollar, she added.

Last month, the TNSC predicted that exports, which represent up to 70 percent of Thaland’s GDP, would grow by 0 – 1 percent in 2020 under an exchange rate of 30.50 baht to the dollar.

Its prediction was much lower than that of the government's National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), which forecasts exports to recover to a growth of 2.3 percent while the GDP would grow 2.7 – 3.7 percent in 2020.

Ghanyapad said reining in the baht is a crucial issue and the Bank of Thailand must speed up tackling the problem to make the baht competitive with the currencies of Thailand's competitors.

The baht hit a six-year high, reaching 29.88 to the US dollar on December 30. The Thai currency strengthened nearly 9 percent last year, compared to a year earlier./.