Thai Floods Submerge Green Tea Bottlers


Massive floods this week inundated some of Thailand’s largest tea bottling plants inflicting hundreds of millions in losses.

All five key industrial zones were under water in the historic city of Ayutthaya, about a one-hour drive north of Bangkok.

Thailand’s ready-to-drink green tea manufacturers estimate $65 million shortfall due to water damage. Equipment in many factories such as Mai Tan and Oishi are total losses. Producers anticipated $325 million in sales of green tea products this year.

Tan Passakornnatee, CEO of Mai Tan, told Nation Multimedia that he expects the green tea market to freeze at about Bt8 billion ($259 million), which is the same as last year.

It would take at least six months to about a year for the firm’s $77 million green tea factory and its hi-tech machines to resume normal operation. He said the company has no plans to lay off more than 100 staff at the factory or cut their wages. The plant was responsible for 20 per cent of the company's green tea sales.

Revenue from Oishi Group was expected to hit $97 million this quarter, but its green tea bottling factory, located in Nava Nakorn industrial park will be closed at least six months. The company estimates sales will fall between $16 and $32 million.

Serm Suk, which bottles Pepsi-Cola products was forced to close its Pathum Thani factory last week because there was no highway access but flood waters have not reached the plant.

Japanese newspapers reported 320 Japanese-owned companies suffered damage from the floods.

Source: National Multimedia