Few things to note:

  • Agriculture – No surprise here given how soft commodity prices are continually lower than they were 12 months.
  • Electronics/Electrical Equipment – I doubt Thailand will see any double digit growth in this sector for the foreseeable future, since the floods in ’11 several electronics firms simply took their insurance checks and shut down business.
  • Construction materials – A big surprise, no idea where they could be going, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines ?
  • All in all, not a great start for the year, GDP growth is more than likely going to be continually revised downwards by all the government agencies and analysts.


  1. FWIW, I’ve never seen a bear market in softs as broad and/or deep as this…and I’m old. I don’t know what relief programs, if any, are in place by the current incumbent up-country, other than to make good on the previous mob’s incredibly popular yet empty promises. In the states, there is “crop insurance,” largely accruing now to mega-agribusiness, but originally a decent idea. Obviously, the larger ag concerns can and do hedge now but don’t like to say to what extent. As for independent farmers, we try not to think about it.

    When asked about the future of the stock market, JP Morgan once replied, “Prices will fluctuate.” Nowhere is this more true than in what used to be the commodity pits. At a time like the present, not a bad idea to take a breath and make a survey of those soft commodity producers on the SET: who is in best (or worst) financial condition, best managed, best prepared for the turnaround which, unless the world stops turning in which case it won’t matter, will surely come, in commodities above all. Obvious candidates include STA, UVAN, KSL, TVO, maybe even PR, although the rice bolt may be shot–nice work, there. But other suspects out there as well. I keep an eye on the big guys: right now, zilch. But one o’ these days….

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