Exports to Myanmar down to decades’ low due to political situation

Thailand’s exports to Myanmar in 2021 might contract by almost 100 billion baht if the situation in Myanmar does not improve, an economic think tank said this week.

Myanmar’s military coup could result in Thai exports falling to a record low, Ath Pisarnvanich, the Director of the International Trade Studies Centre at the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), said on Thursday.

Ath provided three scenarios ranging from the most optimistic to the most pessimistic. The worst-case scenario predicts that Thailand’s exports to Myanmar will fall by 82.2 percent year-on-year or a historic low of 96.6 billion baht.

The worst-case prediction will contribute to a fall of 1.2 per cent of the country’s full-year exports value, Ath added.

“Border closure, shipping congestion, and currency problems will create more issues,” industry insiders told Thai Enquirer.

Companies related to fast-moving consumer goods would likely see a higher impact from the crisis.

Beverage company Carabao Group (CBG), which counts on 10 per cent of its revenue in Myanmar, said in a report on the Stock Exchange of Thailand that the coup caused unrest in major cities that affected the sales volume.

CBG, as a result, reported a drop of 25 per cent year-on-year on exports to the country group consisting of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

According to the UTCC, Myanmar’s household income has declined by 83 per cent since the military stepped into power and prompted violence on the street, with around 600,000 people losing their jobs.

In 2020, Thai exports value to Myanmar amounted to 117.5 billion baht.

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