Fruit exports stand out as the country's sweet spot

Fruit exports stand out as the country's sweet spot

Seasonal fruits are sold at Talad Thai in Pathum Thani province. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Seasonal fruits are sold at Talad Thai in Pathum Thani province. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

The pandemic has failed to sour Thailand's fresh fruit exports this year, with new figures showing a 42.2% rise in the first half of 2021, driven by robust Chinese demand.

Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit, director-general of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office, said 2021 looked set to be a golden year for the Thai fruit trade, with the country's fruit exports continuing to expand significantly among other important export products.

He attributed the export rise partly to proactive policy delegated by Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, who has assigned the commercial ambassadors in foreign countries the role of the country's salesmen, and online and offline business matching between foreign importers and Thai fruit traders.

Fruit shipments helped to boost Thailand's overall agricultural exports by more than 20% in the first half of 2021.

In the first half of the year, Thailand exported fresh fruit worth US$2.896 billion, an increase of 42.21% led by durian (+58.24%), longan (+51.43%), mangoes (+50.09%), banana (+18.59%), pineapple (+98.85%), citrus (+374.75%), and lychee (+32.35%).

The biggest export market was China, accounting for more than 83% of all Thai fresh fruit exports, followed by Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and South Korea.

In the first half of 2021, fresh fruit exports to China reached $2.43 billion, a rise of 71.11%. The main provinces that imported fresh fruit from Thailand were Guangdong province, worth $867.56 million, followed by Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region worth $743.01 million, and Chongqing, worth $485.79 million.

Boosted by the first-half results, the ministry is optimistic fresh fruit exports will grow by 66.8% this year to $5.53 billion.

Mr Phusit said the Commerce Ministry has vowed to closely monitor export obstacles. The minister has instructed commercial ambassadors to periodically report on the progress of the export procedures to address obstacles in time and beef up the promotion of Thai fruit products to other international markets.

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