Thailand’s leading chicken producer Saha Farms Group plans to invest Bt15 billion for expanding production capacity to serve higher import demand for Thai chicken.
Group president and chief executive Manoonsri Chotitawan said the investment aimed to increase chicken production to meet its export plans next year. Export volumes went up from 70,000 tonnes in 2009 to 110,000 tonnes last year.
“Export volume is expected to grow continuously this year so we have to increase production to serve rising market demand,” she said.
Manoonsri added that the government should persuade importing countries to open more markets for Thai chicken. The share of Thai chicken exports in the world market can be doubled from 2 per cent currently to 4 per cent, or 800,000 tonnes, annually. In particular, Thailand has lost market share for frozen chicken in Japan to Brazil and China.
Thai frozen-chicken exports had been banned for five years after the bird-flu outbreak. Consequently, the country has exported only processed chicken, whose volume has dropped to 400,000 tonnes a year. The export price of the product has increased from US$3,800 a tonne to $5,000 (Bt152,000) now, thanks to high-quality production.
“Thai chicken exporters are now ready to re-export their products,” she said.
The group yesterday also participated in Thailand’s Best Friend project, saying that it will help increase confidence among trading partners and directly boost export growth. It is expected the event will generate up to Bt30 billion in export orders.
The Bt30-million Thailand’s Best Friend event allows importers to meet Thai manufacturers and learn more about goods made in the country. The event is expected to draw 100 leading importers from 34 countries. The import value of these enterprises should increase at least $1 billion from the current combined import value of $6.4 billion a year.
Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the Department of Export Promotion, said Thailand’s export growth was forecast to grow by 15 per cent to $219 billion this year.
Nuntawan said such destinations as Australia, India and South Korea had high potential to be among Thailand’s major export markets. The government will urgently tighten cooperation with importers from those nations to ensure smooth trade growth.
Source: The Nation