1. US farmers up in arms over additives ban. A group of pork producers in the US is petitioning the Office of the United States Trade Representative )USTR (to consider cutting the Generalised System of Preferences )GSP (granted to Thailand, in protest against Thailand’s refusal to import pork containing ractopamine, a cabinet meeting was told on Monday. (Bangkok Post, 30/5/18)
  2. MP election bill ruled constitutional by court. The Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled the organic bill on the election of MPs passed by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is legal. (Bangkok post, 30/05/18)
  3. The office of industrial economics (OIE) inspect Vietnam’s trade barriers. OIC is closely monitoring foreign trade barrier policies, particularly those of Vietnam, which issued a Non-Tariff Barriers (NTB) in the contents of an automobile import document. It may lead to a manufacturing base relocation to Vietnam, as happened with the Thai textile industry in the past. (Khaosod, 30/05/18)
  4. The Department of Mineral Fuel is open for qualified bidders to submit their intentions to access the data room and pay for their participation in the petroleum auctions. The data room will open from May 30 to June 1 and each bidder will be charged a fee of Bt7mn/field/bidder on a first come-first served basis. The bidders are required to submit their bids on Sep 25. The government will receive fees of Bt42mn from the four bidders accessing the data room. (Kao Hoon, 31/5/18)
  5. The State Railway of Thailand announced a TOR for the high-speed trains connecting three airports worth almost Bt22.4bn .The TOR requires the consortium bidding for the project to have at least 25% held by a Thai company. (Kao Hoon, 31/5/18)
  6. BoT tells banks to rein in mortgages. The Bank of Thailand has sounded an alarm to banks considering the growing appetite for mortgages, urging them to retain their risk management practices when considering housing loans. (Bangkok post, 01/06/18)
  7. Jobs downturn at odds with overall growth of economy, says NESDB. Employment in the non-farm sector has seen a decline while household debts are on a rising trend against a backdrop of continued economic growth, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) said yesterday. Employment in the non-farm sector dropped 2.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 despite economic growth reaching 4.8 per cent, according to the Social Situation and Outlook report released yesterday by the NESDB. (The nation, 01/06/18)
  8. China April industrial profit growth rebounds to six-month high. Profits earned by Chinese industrial firms in April rose at their fastest pace in six months, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Sunday, as factories benefited from higher prices and strong demand. Profits in April rose 21.9 percent year-on-year to 576 billion Yuan ($90.14 billion), the quickest since October, bringing gains for the first four months of 2018 to 15 percent. The data suggests China’s industrial sector is still seeing solid growth momentum despite curbs on pollution and rocky trade relations with the United States. (Reuters, 27/05/218)
  9. Oil output could return to October 2016 level, says Russia’s Novak. A return to the oil production levels that were in place in October 2016, baseline for the current deal to cut output, is one of the Russia were discussing raising OPEC and non-OPEC oil production to ease 17 months of strict supply curbs amid concerns that a price rally has gone too far. “When we extended the agreement until the end of 2018, we spoke about such possibilities (of returning to the October 2016 level),” Novak told reporters. “But a decision will be made in June,” he added, referring to meetings of OPEC and non-OPEC countries in Vienna on June 22-23. (Reuters, 26/05/18)
  10. Euro wobbles as Italian political crisis deepens. The euro wobbled at multi-month low against major rivals on Wednesday as Italy’s political crisis deepened, raising the likelihood of an early election. Sources close to some of Italy’s main parties said there was now a chance that President Sergio Mattarella could dissolve parliament in the coming days and send Italians back to the polls as early as July 29. The euro slipped to as low as $1.1510, its lowest level since last July, on Tuesday and last stood at $1.1542. It has fallen 4.5 percent so far this month. (Reuters, 29/5/18)

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