The recent plunge in pork prices played a part in the decline of the inflation rate in October, according to a source in the Finance Ministry who requested anonymity.
The source said inflation declined 0.31% in October year-on-year because of falling energy prices, which dipped by 0.2% because of lower oil prices and subsidies used to cap energy prices.
In addition, food prices decreased by 0.5% in October, particularly the price of pork, said the source.
Although the prices of ready-to-eat food items increased by 0.2%, inflation in October still declined.
The ministry is relieved by this development as it eases pressure on the economy following a surge in global crude oil prices, said the source. A low rate of inflation has a beneficial impact on the economy.
In terms of economic stability, the level of public debt at the end of September totalled 62.1% of GDP, below the ceiling of 70% in the fiscal discipline framework.
For external stability, the situation remains stable and can support risks stemming from global economic volatility, as reflected in the country's international reserves at the end of October, tallying US$211 billion.
Another source at the ministry said the rampant smuggling of pork into the country posed a major threat to the domestic industry.
Most of the smuggled pork came from South American countries such as Argentina and Brazil, which have cheaper animal feed costs than Thailand, resulting in lower production costs.
The Customs Department provided statistics on arrests for illegal imports of pigs and pork products.
In fiscal 2021, 14 people were detained for illegally importing pig products weighing 236,000 kilogrammes.
In fiscal 2022, 25 people were detained for illegally importing pig products weighing 431,000 kg.
This year, 18 people have been detained so far for illegally importing pig products weighing 4.77 million kg.