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Thailand is now the world’s 13th largest exporter of agricultural products: minister
FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2023
Thailand has become the world’s 13th largest exporter of agricultural products after a more than 20% surge in agricultural trade in the first 11 months of 2022, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Chalermchai Sreeon said on Friday.
Thailand’s trade in agricultural products totalled 1.55 trillion baht during the period, up 22% from the same period in 2021, the minister said.
Chalermchai said the export surge was due to his ministry’s efforts to increase agricultural competitiveness, including the so-called 3S (safety, security, sustainability) strategy, greater use of advanced agricultural technology, and enhanced cooperation between the private and public sectors.
Agricultural exports surged to other member states of Asean as well as countries outside of the bloc that Thailand has free trade agreements (FTAs) with.
Agricultural exports to countries that Thailand has FTAs with rose 18.52% year on year during the period. The countries include China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Chile, and India. Thailand also has a separate FTA with Hong Kong SAR. Combined, agricultural trade between Thailand and these jurisdictions totalled 901.28 billion baht in the first 11 months of last year.
Thailand ran a trade surplus of 495.72 billion baht with the eight countries and Hong Kong SAR: exports totalled 698.5 billion baht and imports totalled 202.78 billion baht.
Agricultural trade with other Asean members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam) totalled 502.35 billion baht during the first 11 months of last year. This represents a 24.56% year-on-year rise. Thailand also saw a surplus with its fellow Asean members of 201 billion baht. Agricultural exports totalled 351.63 billion baht and imports were worth 150.72 billion baht during the period.
The three top agricultural products by revenue were fruits (164.79 billion baht), meat and fish (97.14 billion baht), and rubber (83.91 billion baht).
Thailand’s biggest export markets last year were China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Australia, respectively.
Chalermchai said the trend of rising agricultural exports would continue this year, especially because China has lifted most of its Covid-19 restrictions. This will allow more products from Thailand to be transported to China via the China-Laos railway, the minister explained.