Thursday, June 17, 2021

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Thai agricultural exports under FTA grew 2.2% last year


Thai agricultural exports under free trade agreements (FTAs) were worth Bt490.72 billion in 2020, up 2.2 per cent from a year earlier, the Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) said on Wednesday. However, Thai agri-exports to all countries last year fell 3.2 per cent as Covid-19 battered economies.

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Thailand enjoyed an agricultural trade surplus with its nine FTA partners of 3.7 per cent in 2020.

“Exports to China expanded the most, followed by Hong Kong, Peru, Chile, New Zealand and Australia," said OAE secretary-general Chantanon Wannakejohn.

Export of fresh fruit increased the most at Bt83.57 billion, followed by fresh/frozen chicken (Bt27.78 billion), tapioca (Bt21.62 billion), frozen fruit (Bt6.99 billion), fresh/frozen fish (Bt4.35 billion) and fresh/frozen pork (Bt3.27 billion).

Thailand’s agricultural trade with Asean in 2020 expanded 0.8 per cent year on year, but exports dropped by 5.75 per cent.

However, Thailand still enjoyed a trade surplus of Bt171.33 billion with Asean countries.

Exports to Vietnam expanded the most, followed by Malaysia and Cambodia.

Thai agricultural exports to Asean were led by sugar (Bt47.49 billion), non-alcoholic drinks (Bt47.10 billion), seasonings (Bt25.21 billion), natural rubber (Bt23.27 billion) and livestock (Bt23.10 billion).

"Thai agricultural trade stayed in positive territory amid the global impact of Covid-19 because of changing consumer behaviour, countries easing import restrictions, and Thai measures to contain Covid-19," said Benjawan Siripoe, OAE expert on International Agricultural Economics Policy.

The OAE may seek more agri-export markets abroad while launching campaigns to boost domestic consumption, she said.

She added that Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Sreeon is focused on securing the confidence of overseas and domestic consumers by improving the quality of Thai produce in line with Covid-19 preventive guidelines.

Published : February 10, 2021

By : The Nation