Food exports forecast to expand by over 5 percent

While some sectors struggle to cope with a weak global economy, international markets still have a healthy appetite for Thailand’s food as the National Food Institute forecast that Thai food exports would increase by 5.4 percent in 2020.

Thailand is among the world’s top exporters of rice, sugar, cassava, pineapples, and many other food commodities. The country has also been enjoying growth in its exports of processed foods. While not the most abundant food producer in Asia in terms of volume, Thailand is the only country in Asia that is a net food exporter.

Last year, the world’s food exports declined by 0.6 percent to roughly $1.3 trillion. Thailand’s food exports accounted for 2.51 percent of total world food exports.

This year, the National Food Institute is predicting that Thai food exports will bring in $34.9 billion, according to the Institute’s President Anong Pajitprapapon.

The Institute’s forecasts are contingent, however, on the value of the baht, Thailand’s currency, holding steady against the dollar. Should the baht strengthen, prices for Thai exports would most likely rise, and the exports of Thai food would most likely drop in value and volume.

Anong said, however, that the country’s food exports should benefit from the easing of global trade tensions and increased demand from Japan, which is hosting the Olympic Games this summer.

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