Instant Food Manufacturers Association president Wisit Limleucha said exports have faced obstacles, particularly logistical problems caused by the Covid-19 crisis. For example, food exports have been delayed as customs documents were found to contain technical errors.
March exports expanded by 4.17 per cent, but without taking into account gold and oil, they only increased by 2 per cent. Meanwhile, food exports to the United States and China have seen some benefit as there is demand for more foodstuff from these countries even during this Covid-19 situation.
However, exports did not expand compared to the same period in 2019 because of the lower number of cargo ships and new directives in other countries owing to the pandemic, Wisit said.
Exported agricultural foods in the first quarter were valued at Bt119.54 billion, 13.3 per cent lower, while the value of other food products was Bt137.76 billion, a decrease of 0.6 per cent. The total value of food exports in the first quarter was Bt257.3 billion, minus 6.9 per cent.
Moreover, the lower number of tourists has also affected consumption in the country, which is usually valued at Bt2 trillion a year. However, the latter half of the year might see an improvement in the situation after hotels and restaurants are expected to reopen.
Wisit said that after the Covid-19 situation normalises, sales of computers and electronic parts would increase as people become accustomed to staying home.
“Exports might be minus 8 per cent,” he warned, adding that it all depended on the Covid-19 situation easing.
Published : May 04, 2020
By : The Nation