Floods dent Thai economy

News and Press Release
Originally published
BANGKOK, Oct 21, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Nationwide floods this year will cost Thailand over 200 million US dollars to repair the economy, and economic growth between October 2002 and March 2003 will be affected.

As of late September, the floods have damaged over one million hectares of farming lands across the country and total paddy output will decline by 1-2 million tons this year as a result, the state-owned radio said Monday.

Thai farmers have so far lost 200 million dollars in revenue from rice while growers of other commodities have lost 130 million dollars. The fishery sector lost about 150 million dollars.

Officials said the floods will also raise debts of farmers by 5-10 percent averagely while the farmers' ability to repay debts is also eroded.

Moreover, the decline in paddy output as a result of the floods will affect related industry such as animal feed, tapioca products and sugar. This, in turn, will cause the country's inflation rate to rise.

In addition, next year's farm exports are expected to fall by 5- 8 percent from those of this year.

Copyright 2002 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY.

Copyright (c) 2002 Comtex News Network
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 10/20/2002 23:36:07