Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/27/2012 -- BMI View: Thailand will maintain its status of key Asian agricultural provider in the coming years. However, the government's interference in the market, especially in the rice sector, will hinder the competitiveness of Thai's production compared 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 Thai food-producing efficiency as well as boosting the country's export competitiveness. The programme appears to be untenable in the medium term, and we see growing risks for Thailand to partially cut the subsidies or drop the policy. This would have major impacts on exports and international rice prices.
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- Poultry production growth to 2016/17: 30.3 % to 1.9mn 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 give the industry more impetus to expand production.
- Sugar production growth to 2016/17: 31.8% to 13.4mn tonnes. Strong sugar cane yield improvements and improved sugar recovery will support growth.
- Rice consumption growth to 2016/17: 20.3% to 12.5mn tonnes. Rice will remain the staple food for Thais, and there is little opportunity for substitution. Thais are more likely to cut nonessential items such as meat and soft drinks when economic times are tough.
- BMI universe agribusiness market value: 21.7mn in 2013; growth to average 4.2% annually to 2016/17.
- Real GDP growth in 2013: 2.9% year-on-year (y-o-y); down from 3.3% in 2012, forecast to average 2.7% to 2017.
- Consumer price index in 2013: 2.9% average; to average 2.7% to 2017.
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