The Thai baht has been hit by a sharp decline in tourism numbers due to the COVID pandemic, making the country’s currency the worst-hit in the region this year, according to Mizuho Bank.
In a note on July 23, the Japanese bank pointed to “uncharacteristic under-performance of the Thai Baht, rendering it the worst performer to date in 2021”.
Thai baht was the top performer in Asia before the pandemic. In 2019, the country was concerned about the strengthening Thai baht, which was buoyed by its large trade surplus. A stronger currency makes Thailand’s exports more expensive, causing them to be less attractive in global markets.
According to Refinitiv Eikon data, the Thai baht has steadily plunged more than 10% against the U.S. dollar year-to-date in 2021. This makes it the weakest-performing currency this year compared to other major Asia Pacific currencies.
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