Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/21/2014 -- Thailand will maintain its status as a key Asian agricultural provider in the coming years, as the sector benefits from strong export opportunities and government support as well as an efficient foodproducing industry. The sugar and livestock sectors are especially promising; however, the government's interference in the market, especially in the rice sector, will hinder the competitiveness of Thailand's production relative to its Asian rivals. Although rice farmers will directly gain from the rice guarantee buyback programme, we are uncertain about the long-term effectiveness of these policies in enhancing Thailand's food-producing efficiency and in boosting the country's export competitiveness. Thailand will remain a key rice exporter but may lose out to secondary exporters owing to growing instability in its trade policy.
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- Poultry production growth to 2017/18: 29.1% to 1.95mn tonnes. This growth will largely be due to increased private investment in the sector. The lift of an eight-year EU ban on uncooked imports in April 2012 will allow imports of Thai-produced poultry and other food products and will give the industry more impetus to expand production.
- Sugar consumption growth to 2018: 26.5% to 3.3mn tonnes. Thailand's sugar consumption is growing fast, boosted by caching consumption patterns and the rising demand for carbonated soft drinks and confectionery.
- Rice production growth to 2017/18: 10.5% to 22.3mn tonnes. This in line with the government's forecast for rice production to reach 21mn tonnes by 2014/15. Expansion will come almost entirely from improved yields, as the area of land under rice cultivation will remain stable.
- BMI universe agribusiness market value: 23.8mn in 2014 (growth to average 2.3% annually between 2014 and 2018).
- Real GDP growth in 2014: 3.8% chg y-o-y (up from 3.6% in 2013, forecast to average 4.3% between 2013 and 2017).
- Consumer price index in 2014: 2.6% average (down from 2.9% in 2013; forecast to average 2.5% between 2014 and 2018).
- Central Bank policy rate in 2014: 2.25% eop (same as in 2013; forecast to average 2.60% between 2014 and 2018).
Key Revisions To Forecasts
- Poultry production estimate in 2012/13 revised down, to 1.5mn tonnes (compared with a previous forecast of 1.6mn tonnes). Producers cut output last season, as aggressive capacity expansion in recent years led to overcapacity and falling margins.
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