Concerns of oil and gas giant PTT Plc have shifted away from the euro-zone debt crisis to the flooding in Thailand, as demand for electricity and petrol have begun to sink in the wake of the months-long disaster. As per BangkokPost, the effects are expected to rise during the rest of the year from falling petrochemical demand due to the number of factories that have been forced to shut down by the disaster. The local floods are also estimated to drag down the country's gross domestic product (GDP) along with demand for raw materials by the manufacturing sector. Electricity demand has clearly already dropped, while shrinking demand for petrol is due partly to service station closures.
Three months of heavy rains have deluged about one third of Thailand’s provinces, chiefly in central and northern areas, with floods, swamping homes and businesses and shutting down industry. The floods are likely to cut economic growth this year by around 1.0 to 1.7 percentage points, according to estimates from the Bank of Thailand and the National Economic and Social Development Board. Forecasters at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce have estimated the cost of the floods to the Thai economy at about 150 billion baht (US$4.9 bln) about 1.3-1.5% of annual GDP. Japanese automakers including Toyota have suspended production due to water damage to facilities or a shortage of components. The floods have also damaged 10% of Thailand’s rice paddy.