March 12, 2021

Thailand’s food exports are expected to rise 7.1% this year, after dropping 4% in 2020, on higher global demand as the coronavirus pandemic eases, a Thai business group has announced.

Anong Paijitprapapon, President of the National Food Institute (NFI), said food exports are forecast to reach €28.8 billion in 2021 on an assumption that the baht would be at a level of around 25 per euro.

In 2020, Thailand exported €25.5bn of food products, accounting for 13.5% of total shipments. Thailand’s food industry employs about a million workers.

The NFI said the anticipated rise in farm and food prices would be important especially for chicken, sugar, tapioca products and pineapples.

Lower exports led Thailand’s share of the world food market to drop to 2.3% last year from 2.5% in 2019. Thailand’s food exporter ranking in the world fell to 13th from 11th the year before.

“In 2020, Thailand’s food exports only grew to China, the US and Oceania,” said Mrs Anong.

“Outbound shipments to China were up 18.1%, with those to the US up 12.2% and Oceania up 1.7% to 33.1 billion.”

Mrs Anong said apart from the pandemic impact, food exports last year also struggled with a container shortage and higher transport costs.

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