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Thai electrical, electronics firms hope to return to 80-per-cent capacity

Electric appliance and electronics industries of Thailand are hopeful that they can operate their plants at 80 per cent of full utilisation to match last year's sales.

"We're hopeful that the industries can experience flat growth, not a decline. Many key players in these industries are located in the Bangpa-in Industrial Estate, Ayutthaya province. Most of them can run at 50 per cent of their capacities," Somboon Hotrakul, director of the Electrical and Electronics Institute (EEI), said last week.
The companies that could resume manufacturing were producing at half of the normal rate. Western Digital, the US-based electronics firm, is an example. Many of the others are trying harder to start back up, but the obstacle is the delay in importing new machines to replace the ones damaged by the floods last year.
The EEI had forecast exports of electric appliances and electronic products to drop by 5 per cent this year from US$53.07 billion (Bt1.6 trillion) last year due to the low output.
If the plants cannot reach the 80-per-cent target, the industries are likely to face a 5-10-per cent decline in exports this year.
Last year, exports of electric appliances increased by 9 per cent to $22.11 billion and electronics products by 6 per cent to $30.96 billion.
Full recovery was expected next quarter.
The acquisition of new machines was also aimed at replacing workers, increasing production efficiency and reducing labour costs. A drop in employment in these industries over the next few months can be expected, he added.

Electrical and Electronics Institute (EEI)