Value of food exports to rise amid global jab drive
The value of Thai food exports is expected to increase by 5-7% this year to 1 trillion baht as a global Covid-19 vaccination drive continues, says the Federation of Thai Industries' (FTI) food processing industry club.
Export value stood at 981 billion baht last year after the pandemic forced countries to impose strict lockdown measures.
However, distribution of vaccines is boosting economic confidence, people's purchasing power and business activities, all of which stimulate demand for food and processed food products.
"Thailand primarily aims to export food and processed food products to support local farmers," said club chairman Visit Limlurcha. "In addition, some 75% of raw materials for manufacturing are bought locally."
He also wants to see factories and exporters forge closer links with farmers and help them find the right overseas markets.
Raw materials from neighbouring countries are important because they provide Thai manufacturers the opportunity to use them to produce high value-added products, known as HVA products, according to the FTI.
The federation also suggested producers focus on development of safe food products.
These plans should help Thai food exporters compete with countries who emphasise quantity and cheap prices, said Mr Visit.
The club said Thailand was the 13th largest food exporter last year, a drop from No.11 in 2019.
Countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and India improved their rankings because they increased the export of raw materials for the food industry.
"Thailand has high potential and the technology to develop premium food and HVA products for export. This will lead to high profit margins," said Mr Visit.
Use of digital platforms and big data is also crucial to help promote Thai products, he said.