Thailand Expects 10 Per Cent Rise in Poultry Exports

THAILAND - The country expects to export 410,000 to 420,000 tonnes of poultry meat this year, and a 10 per cent increase in the value of those exports is forecast for next year.
calendar icon 29 November 2010
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Thailand's chicken exports should remain promising next year, despite an appreciating baht and the faltering global economic outlook reports Bangkok Post.

Exports are forecast to be worth between US$1.65 billion and $1.73 billion in 2011 compared with $1.57 billion this year, a 10 per cent rise from a year earlier, said Anan Sirimongkolkasem, president of the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association.

Thailand is expected to ship 410,000 to 420,000 tonnes of poultry this year, 360,000 tonnes of which would be cooked products and the remainder frozen raw chicken.

Despite the bird flu outbreak that led several countries including key importers the European Union and Japan to ban raw chicken meat from Thailand since 2004, Thailand remains the world's largest chicken exporter, according to Bangkok Post. But most of its shipments in the past five years have been cooked and semi-cooked products. Last year, the country exported 397,000 tonnes of chicken products, of which only 18,200 tonnes were raw meat.

Mr Anan said raw chicken exports were better than expected this year, with further growth seen next year because of a larger global population demanding more food.

Preecha Somboonprasert, director-general of the Livestock Development Department, said export prospects were promising as EU inspectors are scheduled to visit Thailand in March to review preventive animal health measures and animal welfare standards as well as re-evaluate possible reinstatement of raw chicken meat imports.

In 2003, before the bird flu outbreak, Thailand exported 98,231 tonnes of raw chicken meat to the EU. Thailand currently ships only cooked chicken products to the EU, which has an import quota. The quota is 252,643 tonnes: 160,033 tonnes of processed chicken and 92,610 tonnes of salted poultry.

After the bird flu outbreak, Thailand failed to exercise its quota for salted poultry.

Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the Export Promotion Department, told Bangkok Post that the Commerce Ministry has also invited authorities from the United Arab Emirates to visit Thailand early next year to review bird flu control measures.

Thailand has been flu-free since November 2008. The outbreak prompted the UAE, which imported 1,789 tonnes of Thai raw chicken meat worth $2.73 million in 2003, to ban imports of raw Thai chicken products in 2004.

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