Thai agricultural products enjoying export growth spurt
Thailand’s agricultural product exports grew 17 per cent last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the Office of Agricultural Economics said.
Chanthanon Wankhajorn, secretary-general of the Office of Agricultural Economics, said exports of Thai agricultural products from January to December last year were valued at Bt1.3 trillion, a 17 per cent increase over exports in 2020.
He said the high value of exports had enabled Thailand to enjoy a trade surplus of Bt813.69 billion in agricultural products trade.
Bilateral trade of agricultural products with other Asean nations increased by 4.86 per cent to Bt422.75 billion.
Chanthanon said Thailand’s exports of agricultural products to Asean countries grew 3.46 per cent, allowing the Kingdom to enjoy a trade surplus of Bt171.35 billion.
Malaysia was the top importer of Thai agricultural products in the region, followed by Vietnam and Cambodia.
The top five Thai agricultural product exports in terms of value were UHT milk and UHT soya milk with the export value of Bt46.64 billion, sugar and products from sugar (Bt38.07 billion), rubber (Bt29.9 billion), edible seasonings (Bt28.43 billion) and food dressings made from cereals, flour and milk (Bt25.09 billion).
Chanthanon added that Thailand also enjoyed export growth of agricultural products through free trade agreements outside Asean. The growth was 33.06 per cent with last year’s value of Bt653.66 billion, allowing Thailand to enjoy a trade surplus of Bt474.19 billion for agricultural product trade.
The markets that saw the highest export growth rates last year were India, China, South Korea, New Zealand, and Japan. The agricultural goods with the highest export growth were palm oil (Bt22.78 billion), tapioca (Bt41.02 billion), rubber (Bt175.97 billion), fresh fruits (Bt135.99 billion), and starch and inulin products (Bt52.8 billion).
“It was a good year for the export of Thai agricultural products, despite the pandemic. It might be partly because consumers and businesses have adapted to the situation,” Chanthanon said.
He said the Agriculture Ministry will make sure that Thailand’s agricultural products will not be contaminated when exported and the country is confident of seeing higher growth this year.