November 8th, 2011
01:42 PM GMT
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Bangkok (CNN) – After a month of devastating floods, Thailand faces the prospect of a dry spell it could do without.

From Bangkok to Phuket, bars and supermarkets are starting to report shortages of beer - such as local favourite Singha - as distributors struggle to get their product out.

Singha, which has many of its production facilities based in flood-hit central provinces such as Phathum Thani, was recently forced to close one brewery that was effectively surrounded by water. A company spokesperson told CNN production has been severely disrupted.

The country's economy is already at crisis point, with several of its main industrial parks to the north of the capital inundated by floodwater seeping down from the north. Major manufacturers such as Honda have scrapped yearly profit forecasts after production was halted in several plants.

Thousands refuse to flee Bangkok flood

With Thailand now entering its peak tourist season, a blow to the country's beer belly could hit consumers in the pocket, as prices are forced up.

Phuket, one of the country's most popular holiday destinations, has a "beer crisis," according to the English language Phuket Gazette.

“At the beginning of the flood crisis, we didn’t expect it to affect us much,” said Weerawit Kurasombat, President of the Patong Entertainment Business Association, whose members generate more than 100 million baht ($3.25 million) annually for the local economy.

But now he says bars are short of stock - particularly beer, the biggest money-spinner - and are being forced to pay inflated prices to re-supply.

“This is the beginning of the high season. If the supply situation does not improve within about 30 days, I believe the entertainment business will start showing real signs of a crisis,” he said.

Even in Bangkok, the ubiquitous 7-Eleven stores appeared to be running short of many brands.

The capital is now the focus of the flood crisis, as it battles to protect the central business district from the filthy floodwater edging deeper into this low-lying city of 12 million people.

However, preparation appears minimal. Cars are illegally parked on along the side of raised sections of the main highway to avoid flooding, and there is occasional deployment of sandbags around the entrances of shops and office buildings.

It's a different story to the north and east, where a number of main roads are under water and the military has become the only means of transporting people and vital supplies of food and water around flood-hit districts.

A beer shortage is the least of people's worries in these parts.

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Filed under: AsiaBusiness

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Martin

    hahahhahahahahahhaa oh noooo

    November 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  2. Chirag

    Really, CNN? We worry about not getting Thai beer while thousands upon thousands of people are homeless, sick, and without food. What a world we live in.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  3. wally zebco

    There are many Europeans here (i.e. Alcoholics) if they don't get their 10 pints a night they get very upset.
    By the way there's no drinking water either.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  4. Greg

    The flooding I can handle, its the lack of supplies that is really the biggest hurdle to getting through this thing. No Heineken in the 7-11/family mart/Supermarket for 2 weeks now. Milk for the kids is sometimes yes, mostly no. No water delivery and none in the supermarkets. If you are a smoker you no longer have a choice of what you smoke as the shelves are empty so you take what you can get. Same for many many products.

    No end in sight for the supply chain issue, especially if Rama II going south is cut by flooding.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:11 am |
  5. nonpro

    Please don't speak too much krab ..... Flooding crisis is getting better why won't says ?

    November 9, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  6. Sajanie

    It's a putty that people can make fun about others grief of millions of people with no place to stay and nearly nothing to eat.
    Beer is really not the biggest problem here, we need water and food.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:05 am |
  7. Basha

    Sweet Mother Of God.
    This is the sadest news I've ever heard from Thailand.
    My prayers go to the Brewers tonight. The whole world is praying tonight for you.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:29 am |
  8. BKK

    You stupid people.

    #1. The situation is not getting any better
    #2. We dont need food and water, they are readily avaialble. The issue is that people cant get to them or are too lazy to go.

    This article actually highlights how much the tourist industry could be affected. I know many of my american friends who would think twice about coming to Thailand if there were no beer.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:46 am |
  9. Mr. Mike

    The thing is, when the floods are gone & there is plenty of beer for everybody, the prices will stay higher. None of these gys are going to lower them ever again.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:41 am |
  10. Wilson

    As a tourist I would be more worried about the natural disaster and possible civil unrest due to supply chain issues. I can get good beer anywhere I do not have to go to Thailand to do it. The cuisine and culture is more of a draw for me. The writer did well as a journalist by using beer draw attention to the article. Even those who are primarily concerned with alcohol need an education, and the curious are just curious.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:08 am |
  11. Roger Rederer

    Here on the border with Cambodia, 370 kms from Bangkok we are now seeing shortages of, ironically, bottled water. The reason for this is that although we have an abundance of water, the plastic used to bottle it is not getting out of BKK. The beer shortage will be a big problem, however there is an excellent local beer called Archa which us farang will have to adapt to. Every cloud has a silver lining and in this case it's the non supply of the Bangkok Post. This scurrilous rag which is the mouthpiece of the Democrat party haven't missed a chance to blame Prime Minister Yingluk for the flooding. Maybe lack of space prevented them from pointing out that the flooding started in July in the north and that the dams which were full should have released much of that water then in order to lessen the impact of the forecast heavy monsoons. Yingluck was not sworn in until August, but why let facts get in the way of a good kicking?

    November 9, 2011 at 5:34 am |
  12. Kausar Ansari

    very wrong, but logon to for latest bihar news in hindi

    November 9, 2011 at 5:47 am |

    You should be able to import beer and food from Malaysia; Thailand has good road, rail and air connections to Malaysian major cities. Phuket should be able to 'import' sufficient for the Christmas season from us. Water too, can be 'imported' from here.

    Please do not feel 'shy' as we, in Malaysia have all that you need! After all what are neighbours for? If you fail to get to Thailand all you Europeans can come to Malaysia and have the same 'sun and fun' here. We have many beaches and resorts/island resorts too. Selamat Datang!

    November 9, 2011 at 7:12 am |
  14. Jan

    most locals can easily live without beer. even when drinking with normal supply, you see most thais preferring "thai whiskey" (which is rum really). It's pretty good drink too.
    The article here just describes the impact on tourism, which is a major concern. There are a lot of tourists who have already canceled their trips because of the floods. And now a shortage of most european's preferred drinks are also hurting the arrival numbers.

    November 9, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  15. GT1

    A downlow approach 2 a more pressing issue...

    November 9, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  16. Jae-Yeon Kwon

    I am a 12 year old (in Korea, 13) student from Korea(South)
    But I cannot believe this is happening in Thai! I love Thai food! Fried rice from Thai restaurant is FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!

    November 9, 2011 at 8:52 am |
  17. Kwon Jaeyeon

    I am a 12 year old (in Korea, 13) student from Korea(South)
    But I cannot believe this is happening in Thai! I love Thai food! Fried rice from Thai restaurant is FANTASTIC!

    November 9, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  18. Kwon Jaeyeon

    I am a 12 year old (in Korea, 13) student from Korea(South)
    Thai food is great

    November 9, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  19. Kwon Jaeyeon

    I am a 12 year old (in Korea, 13) student from Korea(South)

    November 9, 2011 at 8:55 am |
  20. Kwon Jaeyeon

    As a conclusion, Thai food is great enough to love

    November 9, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  21. Jarno

    Chirag and others who criticize this as been too trivial to report on, I wonder if you read the article? Consider that the tourist business is a major employer in Thailand, and that anything that undermines the tourist industry further will have a large economic impact on the country – an economic impact that'll make it all the more difficult to recover from the natural dissaster.

    Sure, basics like food and water supply and sanitation are immediate worries that need to be prioritized, but that doesn't mean that factors that could damage the economy and thus indirectly harm the already suffering people should be ignored or their importance belittled. So while beer is not a vital resource, it's important to the tourist industry. Certainly worth reporting on.

    November 9, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  22. Bernard


    November 9, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  23. chris

    While a beer shortage may not seem like a serious thing, it can have a major impact on a community that depends on tourism. imagine how many people would cancel a trip to cancun if they ran out of beer

    November 9, 2011 at 11:23 am |
  24. brian

    We should start a beer drive for Thailand...and if there's enough room on the ship/plane/whatever, perhaps we can fit a case or two of bottled water...ya know, so locals can survive to serve us the beer we donated

    November 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  25. Don

    We've been high and dry in Nakhon Pathom and beer stocks are plentiful! The problem is you can't find any decent pretzels or potato chips to really make our lives completely unhealthy!

    November 10, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  26. scir91onYouTube

    as long as the girls in the bars are in high supply, life is good...

    November 11, 2011 at 4:31 am |
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    November 13, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  28. stefanbuld

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    November 13, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  29. Edita

    Scusate l'intervento che esula dall'argomento proposto ma voreri sottoporVi queste domande:Perch sono state eliminate queste funzioni dal sito?:I voti nei post sono stati eliminati, perch ?Penso che se un intervento risulta essere maleducato o insolente, sottolineando la disapprovazione degli altri utenti si instauri in chi l ha lasciato un timore o una riflessione su quanto ha scritto.Altrimenti, a meno che non ci sia una supervisione accurata degli amministratori, essendo il messaggio anonimo si potrebbero verificare degli abusi. Bannarli servirebbe a poco essendo l iscrizione anonima. Questo senza nulla togliere agli iscritti che mi sembra siano molto corretti e responsabili.Un altra cosa, molto pi importante di questa, ho notato che non pi possibile scrivere recensioni. E una cosa momentanea o c stata qualche decisione in merito? Sarebbe un peccato perch molto utile sapere com' un determinato gioco e come viene considerato

    May 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm |

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