Thailand: Food exports expected to grow by 3-5% this year

Having contracted over the past two years, Thailand’s overall food exports are forecast to grow by 3-5% this year, boosted by the recovering economies of Thailand’s key trading partners, baht weakness and progress in vaccine production and inoculations.

Visit Limlurcha, president of the Thai Food Processors Association, said the association is feeling optimistic that the country’s food exports will grow by 3-5% this year from 1.09 trillion baht last year.

In 2020, Thailand’s food exports dropped by 1% from 1.10 trillion baht recorded in 2019 which had fallen by 5% from the previous year.

In the first eight months of this year, Thai food exports rose by 8% from the same period last year to 806.4 billion baht. Agri-food products that accounted for 53% of the total food exports represented 425.34 billion baht, a rise of 17 % from the same period in 2020, while agro-industrial products which made up 47% of the total, generated 381.08 billion baht, down by 0.1% from last year.

Thailand’s important export markets are the US, Japan, Cambodia and China.

Mr Visit said Thai food exports still have to brave out a spate of risk factors including the persistent pandemic and virus mutation in many countries; high freight rates and the container and shipping space shortage; rising packaging costs, especially in relation to steel; and a labour shortage.

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit said on Monday the THAIFEX – Virtual Trade Show (THAIFEX-VTS) 2021, set to be held from today until Oct 3, is expected to help generate trade value worth at least 830 million baht.

Organised by the International Trade Promotion Department, the virtual trade show will allow business operators in food, beverage, and other related industries to showcase their products and services and participate in virtual online business matching with international buyers/importers via the website

The virtual online business matching activities will cover new food products such as organic and halal food, future food, the Geographical Indication (GI) products. Some 368 Thai entrepreneurs have already applied for online business negotiations and over 1,433 businesses from 99 countries have forward appointments in this event.