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Thailand to boost chicken exports after 50% fall in domestic

Thailand is aiming to boost chicken meat exports by 10% this year following a 50% slump in domestic consumption as a result of the outbreak of Covid-19, The Nation Thailand reports.

Thailand can produce 2.86 million tonnes of chicken meat a year (the 8th largest provider) with around 60% for domestic consumption and 40% for exports. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a 50% slump in domestic chicken consumption, slashing the price from the normal Bt33-34 (approx. US$ 1) per kilogramme to Bt24-25 (US$ 0.75) per kilogramme. Chicken meat exports in the first quarter rose 7.21% compared to the last quarter of the previous year, said head of the Thai Association of Poultry Exporters, Dr Anan Sirimongkolkasem. However, the lockdown in various countries, especially the US, the EU and Japan, might lower exports by 5%.

Due to dwindling Covid-19 cases in Thailand, the demand for Thai chicken meat is reportedly increasing in countries such as Japan and South Korea. Photo: Learning Juction
Due to dwindling Covid-19 cases in Thailand, the demand for Thai chicken meat is reportedly increasing in countries such as Japan and South Korea. Photo: Learning Juction

Demand from Japan and South Korea

Due to dwindling Covid-19 cases in Thailand, the demand for Thai chicken meat is in fact now increasing in countries such as Japan and South Korea, which usually import from Brazil where the Covid-19 situation is getting more serious. Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit held discussions with private chicken meat providers and exporters to evaluate the export situation, The Nation Thailand reported.

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They urged the ministry to seal free trade agreements with the EU and Britain, fixing chicken meat import quota at around 280,000 – 320,000 tonnes a year and to seek a lower British import tariff from US$ 1,000 a tonne. The ministry was also asked to seek new markets in Japan and to lobby China to approve Thai processed chicken factories and to expand the duck meat market. Furthermore, the private sector requested the ministry establish new markets in South Korea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan. Some 920,000 tonnes of chicken meat were exported in 2019, while in the first 3 months of 2020, 230,000 tonnes were exported.

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Countries that import Thai chicken meat include:

Japan, Britain, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Ireland, Canada, South Korea and Singapore, and countries in which Thailand has a low market share include the US, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, China, France, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Iraq, Angola, South Africa, Philippines and Taiwan.