The war on Ukraine unleashed by Russian President Vladimir Putin has already hit Thailand’s import and export trade. Consumers and manufacturers are both affected by spiking oil prices, the government said on Monday.
A close examination of the downward trend in trade volumes since Russian President Vladimir Putin invoked a war on Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin’s war reveals a correlation between most exports and the volatility in the value of the Russian ruble, said Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.
Consequently, Thai businesses have reduced volumes of trade in order to mitigate against the increased risk of price fluctuation, a trend that has become common all over the world, he said.
The price of crude oil has also risen to more than US$100 per barrel following the Russian army’s recent incursion into Ukrainian territory, he added.
At the moment, all government ministries are working together to find ways to dampen rising costs and save consumers and producers alike from the worst effects of the conflict, he said.
Tight Price Controls
The government will also devote more resources to enforcing the price gouging laws, which have always been in place despite fluctuations in market prices, he said.
Regardless of what happens in Eastern Europe, Mr. Jurin said that the government will continue its policy of tight price controls on vital consumer staples, which are grouped into 18 categories.
For instance, the average price of pork has been capped at 150 baht per kilogramme, he said.
Additionally, Mr. Jurin defended the price caps placed on various electric home appliances, such as refrigerators, fans, and rice cookers, stating that the price caps are determined by their universal necessity and the impact that changes in more expensive items can have on the overall cost of living.
In a Facebook post, former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij, meanwhile, called on the government to act decisively before the economic fallout from Vladimir Putin’s war threatens people’s livelihoods.
According to him, additional measures must be taken to assist vulnerable groups, noting that the consumer price index in February increased by 5.3%.
The Commerce Ministry acknowledged last week that the rise was the largest since 2008, driven by fuel and fresh food prices.
Meanwhile, senior executive vice-president of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), Somkiat Kimawaha, said prices of certain agricultural and farm products were also up last month.