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THAILAND SHIPPING & EXPORT NEWS

Thailand directory and Thailands No1 original Trading Post

 

 

 

 

SHIPPING COSTS INCREASED:

These are inbcreasing by the month now and a Container will cost double that from 1 year ago. All air freight leaving Thailand increases every month now and the goping rate is 13 baht as at July 2008 per kg.

Export shock: Trade deficit hits $675 mln 

Thai exports grew 15.5 per cent in August, the slowest performance this year, while imports were up 26.9 per cent, leaving the kingdom with a $675 million trade deficit, the Bank of Thailand said Tuesday.The value of Thailand's exports totaled $15.79 billion, up 15.5 per cent from August 2007, the central bank said. The rise was lower than July's 44-per-cent jump.The export slowdown was led by declines in rice shipments and prices while rubber exports also dropped in volume, the bank said.Thailand, the world's leading rice exporter, enjoyed a trade windfall in June and July this year when rice prices soared on the world market.But world rice prices declined in August, and Thai rice exports, deemed overpriced because of a domestic price-support scheme, have faltered.The value of Thailand's imports in August totaled $16.46 billion. (dpa) Bangkok Post. Oct 1st 2008

Request to hold fees

The Commerce Ministry yesterday asked shippers to delay any increases in bill of lading fees and terminal handling charges until next week while authorities study the matter.The ministry's Internal Trade Department made the request after meeting with representatives of the Thai National Shippers' Council (TSNC) and the 50- member Bangkok Shipowners and Agents Association (BSAA), following complaints by Thai exporters.The exporters said the increases were unfair and would cause further difficulty at a time of global economic turmoil. They asked the department, in its role as a price regulator, to examine the justification for the higher fees.TSNC chairman Suchart Chantaranakaracha said shippers were told yesterday to detail their higher costs and submit information to the department.According to Mr Suchart, certain BSAA member shippers had already raised their bill of lading fees and terminal handling charges from Oct 1, citing higher costs. Other shippers are expected to raise their fees soon accordingly.The BSAA said it had increased the fees in part to help offset losses on some members' routes.The bill of lading fee has been raised by 60% to 800 baht from 500 baht, while the terminal handling charge has been raised to 3,900 baht from 2,600 baht for a 20-foot container, and to between 4,200 and 4,500 baht from 3,900 baht for a 40-foot container.Higher bill of lading fees are expected to increase expenses of Thai exporters by about 1.1 billion to 1.2 billion baht a year, while the terminal handling charge increase would raise expenses by another five billion baht a year. Bangkok Post. Oct 5th 2008

THAI plans more cutbacks

Thai Airways International is moving to cut back flights, especially on regional routes, in line with the sharp drop in passenger demand due to the political turmoil and the global financial crisis.''The situation has deteriorated from bad to worse, well beyond our expectation. [It] is becoming more critical for us to reassess our frequencies,'' executive vice-president Pandit Chanapai said.The extent of the cuts has yet to be worked out and THAI may take steps such as merging flights to suit passenger numbers to contain losses, he said.THAI's cabin factor in September dropped more than it expected and the deepening political strife is making conditions worse. The airline filled just 70% of its seats in the third quarter.Countries in Asia are far more sensitive to bad news than the long-haul market from which THAI saw smaller declines.''What is terrible about the current political crisis is in its open-ended nature. Unlike 9/11, Sars and the tsunami, we don't when it will end,'' Mr Pandit said. For the first half of this year, THAI posted a loss of 7.04 billion baht. Oct 9th 2008 Bangkok Post

Strike possible in face of political turbulence

NAREERAT WIRIYAPONGShippers are clearing their cargoes from Bangkok Port and re-routing shipments via Laem Chabang Port on fears that unionised workers will strike again in support of anti-government protests. The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) and its labour union in separate statements yesterday urged exporters and shippers to divert their shipments from the port in Klong Toey to other sites.The statements said ongoing political turbulence might disrupt operations at Bangkok Port, where services were suspended three days last months as union members showed their support for the anti-government People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD).On Tuesday the Thai National Shippers Council (TNSC) alerted its 2,700 members _ who are all involved in exporting _ about the threat of industrial action and advised them to divert shipments to Laem Chabang from next week.Despite higher costs, exporters have opted to use Laem Chabang to avoid the risk of failing to meet shipment schedules and of damaging their reputation among foreign buyers, said the TNSC's Techa Boonyachai."'We are begging the port union not to go on strike again for the sake of the country,'' he said. ''If the economy is affected by the strike, everyone in the whole nation will suffer.''Bangkok Port can service 40,000 containers per week, accounting about a quarter of the country's capacity.Shippers estimate an extra cost of around 3,000 to 4,000 baht for moving each container from Bangkok to Laem Chabang. Somkiat Rodcharoen, the head of the PAT union, said members would meet today to decide whether the union would take action in response to the crackdown.''We are blaming those who use force against protesters,'' he said. ''Our decision whether to make a move will be based on the situation day by day.''PAT director-general Sunida Skulrattana said services at Klong Toey had been as normal but warned disruptions might occur if the protests spread.However, TNSC chairman Suchart Chantaranakaracha said exporters had learned their lesson from last month's protest. ''We cannot trust either the PAT or its union,'' he said. ''If a strike erupts again, 4,000 export and import shipments a day will be affected.''Meanwhile, the union of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) vowed to suspend all train services nationwide if the government uses more force against protesters.Last month, countrywide train services were disrupted for 10 days as union members took sick leave, hitting export and import shipments between Thailand and Malaysia.So far, almost 1,000 SRT staff working at the Makkasan maintenance centre have gone on strike to support the protest. But 380 normal train services will remain unaffected, said union leader Riengsak Khangkhan. The union also has allowed PAD supporters to travel for free on four rail routes from the North, Northeast and South to join the protest in Bangkok.Oct Bangkok Post

 

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