Traders organize durians into lots at Simummuang Market in Pathum Thani. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Thai food exports are expected to rise 5% this year after robust 26% growth in the first quarter, driven by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and growing concerns about food shortages in many countries.
Visit Limlurcha, honorary president of the Thai Association of Food Processors, said the war had raised growing concerns about food security in many countries, leading importers to speed up food shipments to avoid a shortage.
“As one of the world’s largest food exporters, Thailand has benefited from the war. Food exports generated 324 billion baht in the first quarter,” Visit said.
The weak baht was another key driver of food exports in the first quarter, he said.
Of the total, industrial food products accounted for 187 billion baht, up 40.5% year-on-year, while agricultural food products accounted for 138 billion, a gain of 10%.
The top 10 products for export growth were: edible fats and oils of vegetable and animal origin; sugar and molasses; cereals; but; meat and other edible animal parts; squid; animal food; rice; fish; and food seasonings.
Top 10 food import markets were ASEAN, China, Japan, USA, South Korea, Australia, UK, India, Netherlands and Taiwan .
Most food exports increased in the first quarter, with the exception of fresh, chilled and frozen fruits and dried fruits, which fell 13% year-on-year as China’s zero Covid policy led to the closure of many key border control points.
Mr Visit predicted food export growth of 5% this year to 1.1 trillion baht. Growth would be driven by a gradual economic recovery and increased economic activities among trading partners, he said. A myriad of risk factors remain, such as Covid-19-related containment measures and war that are hampering food supply chains and driving up energy prices, agricultural raw material costs and production costs. transport and packaging.