Thailand now world’s sixth-largest exporter of fruits
How sweet it is. Thailand’s exports of its cornucopia of fruits rose 41 percent year on year in 2019 to propel the country to sixth place on the list of the world’s biggest fruit exporters, just two spots behind the U.S.
“The most popular exported Thai fruits are tropical fruits such as durian, mangosteen, and longan, of which Thailand is the largest exporter in the world,” said Auramon Supthaweethum, Director-General of Department of Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Commerce.
The fruit that Thailand ships more than any other, however, is the pineapple. In Asia, Thailand is the top exporter of canned pineapples, dispatching over 400 tons a year.
Through the first ten months of 2019, Thailand reeled in over $3.2 billion from fruit exports. In all of 2018, Thailand exported $2.65 billion worth of fruits. The Kingdom now follows Spain, the Netherlands, Mexico, the U.S., and Chile as the world’s leading shippers of fruits.
The Ministry credited the growing appetite for Thai fruits to consumers who have adopted more health-conscious diets, and to free trade agreements (FTA) that have liberalized agriculture imports, reducing tariffs on Thai food products.
Thailand has FTA agreements with China, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, and Hong Kong, which waive all import duties on fresh and frozen Thai fruit.
The rise in shipments was even more impressive considering that Thailand’s currency, the baht, has appreciated against the dollar last year, denting the performance of some other Thai exports because their prices have increased.
Other FTA partners such as Japan, South Korea, India, and Malaysia have also started lowering or waiving import taxes on most types of fruit.