Thai food exports target 10% growth amid rising demand, quality standards

A food booth at THAIFEX-ANUGA ASIA 2023, located at Impact Muang Thong Thani, Image via Facebook

The Thai Commerce Ministry aims to boost food exports by 10% in 2023, driven by growing demand and enhanced Thai standards for quality, safety, and sustainable production processes.

Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit announced the target during the opening of THAIFEX-ANUGA ASIA 2023, expecting food exports to reach 1.55 trillion baht this year, up from 1.36 trillion in 2022.

The food and beverage event is set to run until Saturday, with over 100,000 attendees expected over five days. The event is anticipated to increase Thai food exports, generating more than 70 billion baht worth of transactions. This year’s event is the largest since 2019, featuring over 3,000 companies and around 6,000 booths from 140 countries.

Jurin said…

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“This year, Thai food exports, including agricultural products and various cash crops, are expected to fare quite well, with decent prices.”

He added that rice exports are predicted to reach 8 million tonnes this year, alongside cassava and fresh fruit exports. Land transport to China has improved through various border checkpoints such as Youyiguan and Mohan.

However, the global economic slowdown presents risk factors for this year’s exports.

A joint report by the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Thai Industries, and the National Food Institute revealed that food exports were valued at 346 billion baht in the first quarter of 2023, up by 10% year-on-year. The growth is attributed to increasing global demand for food products, concerns about food security, the war in Ukraine, and extreme weather conditions due to the El Niño phenomenon. The easing of China’s strict zero-Covid restrictions also supported the expansion of Thai food exports.

Export products that gained in the first quarter included sugar, rice, chicken, and fresh fruit. The National Food Institute expects exports of food products to contract in the second quarter from a high base the previous year, then recover in the second half of the year.

In the first half, food product exports are expected to reach 734 billion baht, down 1% year-on-year. The value is forecast to expand by 5.2% in the second half, with a total export value of 766 billion baht, reported Bangkok Post.

Thai food exports

Visit Limlurcha, honorary president of the Thai Food Processors Association said the private sector is targeting 3-5% growth in food exports this year.

“Last year’s significant growth in exports exceeded expectations, leading to a higher base. Whether the ministry’s target of 10% growth can be achieved depends on the availability of raw materials for food production. The private sector is concerned about drought and hot weather. If water management is well-executed, food exports could potentially achieve 10% growth.”

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