My my, how did we get ourselves into this predicament? Thailand’s flood situation just seems to get worse and worse and there isn’t much that the government can do about this except be reactive. My friends in Bangkok have already started to move their cars to be parked far above ground level in anticipation of the floods affecting Bangkok proper within the next week or so, thankfully my parents are happily resting in the mountains just north of Bangkok.
The water flows down from the north, through the provinces of Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri and Lop Buri. Bangkok proper will surely be hit no matter what measures are taken, and in fact it has been hit, earlier than expected, with parts of Ratchadapisek Road and Ladprao Road having flash floods on Saturday morning.
Just a quick aside as to how this may impact companies/stocks in Thailand:
HANA, SMT, and KCE have their factories located in Ayuthaya. SVI’s factories are in Pathumthani. CCET and DELTA’s factories are in Samuthsakon and Samutprakarn. We’ve checked with the companies, and currently only HANA is hit by the flood. The company will shut down its factories temporarily and relocate its inventories. Many of its employees are impacted by the flood. The roads are closed, thus transportation is difficult.
SMT’s factories are located in BangPa-In real estate in Ayuthaya. It has yet to be affected by the flood, but as with HANA its employees are having trouble traveling to and from the factories.
SVI is in Pathumthani, and currently the floods haven’t reached that area yet. But Pathumthani is near Bangkok, and is the next to be hit by the flood before it arrives in Bangkok. CCET and DELTA’s factories are still ok and dry. However, if the flood water reaches Bangkok, their factories also have a chance of being hit.
Also I met a manger from Honda Thailand over the weekend and he’s stated that they will halt production for the time being as they are unable to receive parts for manufacturing.
Of the industrial estate companies, AMATA, Hemraj, and Rojana, Rojana is likely to be the most affected due to its estate being located in the Ayuthaya provinces.
So the auto and electronics sector are likely to be the hardest hit.
Now I’m not going to start ranting about how inept this current government is because they haven’t had time to fully immerse themselves into operating the country. I won’t even start ranting about how inept the previous governments were (though I am bloody tempted to), given the fact that we all know Bangkok is sinking year-by-year and that several parts of Thailand are below sea-water level. Why hasn’t anything been done yet? I have a simple solution, go contact the Dutch government, Holland is a country that is far below sea-level, about two thirds of the country is vulnerable to flooding and it is one of the more densely populated nation’s on the planet. It has to protect itself from the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta, and was able to set their dikes systems in place since the 1930’s.
Finally, this flooding is expected to cost the Thai economy THB 150 bn according to the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), and while the impact upon GDP estimates have yet to be calculated, I expect this to easily decrease GDP by 1-2%, given that Thailand’s economy is driven by the upcountry region and that Thailand’s major exports are from both the auto and electronic sector.
So Mr. Foreign Minister, Ms. Prime Minister, pick up your mobile phones and give the Dutch a call!