Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/06/2012 -- BMI View: The Thai agriculture sector consistently contributes an average 11% to the country's GDP and employs about one-third of the total working population. It is a vital source of income for the population and we expect the recent US$100mn bilateral trade agreement with China to boost trade, including agricultural trade. We expect the grains and livestock sectors to benefit the most from the agreement.
- Sugar production growth to 2015/16: 28.8% to 12.4mn tonnes. Strong sugar cane yield improvements and improved sugar recovery will help to drive growth.
- Rice production growth to 2015/16: 15.1% to 23.3mn tonnes. This expansion will come almost entirely from improved yields, as the area of land under rice cultivation is expected to remain stable.
- Poultry production growth to 2015/16: 29.6% to 1.75mn tonnes. This will largely be due to increased private investment in the sector. With recent news that the EU-27 will allow imports of Thai-produced poultry and other food products, we believe that this development will give the industry more impetus to increase production.
- Real GDP growth 2012: 4.0% chg year-on-year (y-o-y); to average 3.5% to 2016.
- Consumer price index 2012: 3.3% average; to average 3.0% to 2016.
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In March 2012, sources reported that Thailand is expected to export 50,000 tonnes of fresh chicken to the EU by the second half of 2012; this is five times the current level of imports. In the longer term, it is expected that Thailand will grow from the fourth largest poultry meat exporter to the second largest, according to Charoen Pokphand Foods.
As Thailand prepares to enter the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC) in 2015, it will have to address key issues facing the sugar sector. As part of the AEC, goods, services and labour are supposed to move freely across borders. Thailand will need to improve the quality of sugar produced in order to ensure it can reach various new markets in the region. It also will need to liberalise the sugar market in preparation for convergence into the AEC.
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