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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    dirtydog's Avatar
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    Thai Food Exports to fall

    FOOD SECTOR
    Exports to fall

    Volume hit by high prices, global slump

    Chalida Ekvitthayavechnukul

    The food industry expects to export less this quarter in the face of high farm prices and the global economic slowdown.

    For the first quarter, food exports dropped 1.6 per cent year on year to 7.5 million tonnes, but were up 14.1 per cent in value to Bt165.11 billion, according to the National Food Institute.

    Executive director Yuttha-sak Supasorn said yesterday that export volume was forecast to continue falling to 6.4 million tonnes in the second quarter from lower rice and sugar shipments.

    The strong baht and higher production costs are also negative factors for export sales, he said.

    "Food prices will likely be on the up-trend in two years because of global shortages, so we should focus on improving productivity to boost competitiveness," he added.

    Food output in the first two months was up 3.9 per cent over last year, due mainly to higher demand for a wide variety of products such as beer, canned pineapple, soybeans, processed chicken, ice cream, raw sugar and crude palm oil.

    Pornsil Patchrintanakul, deputy secretary-general of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, called on the government to help growers increase their crop yields by turning to genetically modified organisms to serve demand from biofuel factories.

    "It will be too late if we don't consider using GMOs now to balance demand and supply for food and biofuels. The government should have a zoning policy for GMO and non-GMO crops," he said.

    The government should also scrap its price-intervention policy, since prices should be left to market forces, while employers should consider raising workers' salaries, he said.
    However, a conference in London on the growing global food crisis warned that the escalation of food prices could unleash a "silent tsunami" that would plunge more than 100 million people into hunger and poverty.

    The Nation

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    Whiteshiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    "Food prices will likely be on the up-trend in two years because of global shortages, so we should focus on improving productivity to boost competitiveness,"

    What a great idea - but isn't that what you should be doing regardless of the market situation?

    I think they should give Mr. Yuttha-sak Supasorn a new title - something like executive director of the bleedin' obvious.

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