The Secretary-General of the Office of Agricultural Economics (SorKor.), under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, has unveiled the trade situation of Thailand’s agricultural products and natural rubber with nine ASEAN countries. The countries include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam. The total trade value for the first quarter of 2023 amounted to 148.736 billion baht, marking a 4.18% increase compared to the same period in 2022. Thailand’s exports to these countries reached 101.062 billion baht.
Among the key exported agricultural products were sugar varieties such as brown sugar, white sugar, and refined sugar. Other prominent exports included energy drinks, rice, non-alcoholic beverages like UHT milk and soy milk, flavored foods like tofu, powdered alcohol, and creamer, as well as natural latex, dog or cat food, sauces, and flavorings such as seasoning powder, fish sauce, oyster sauce, chili sauce, and ready-made curry paste. Additionally, food additives used for animal feeding were also exported.
On the import side, there was a slight decrease, with an import value of 47.674 billion baht, representing a 2.81% decrease from 2022. Key imported products included frozen cassava, corn kernels for popcorn and human consumption, flavored foods like tofu, powdered alcohol, and non-dairy creamer, cigarettes containing tobacco, flavored foods for infants or young children, vegetable fats and oils such as soybeans, corn, coconut, and peanuts, rice crackers, coarse flour, canned tuna, and bakery snacks like biscuits, cakes, and pastries. Live cattle were also imported.
Despite these fluctuations, the trade statistics for Thai agricultural products continue to show promising growth. There remains a steady demand for Thai agricultural products in the ASEAN market, with indications of further increases. The success can be attributed to Thai farmers producing agricultural goods of standard quality that meet the consumers’ requirements in each country.
This positive trend is a result of government policies and measures aimed at enhancing production efficiency. The focus has been on aligning production with market demand through a production-led marketing policy, adapting to the changing global landscape that emphasizes environmentally friendly production and quality control. Efforts have also been made to expand marketing channels both online and offline, providing farmers with continuous production opportunities and a wider range of channels to sell their agricultural products. These factors are expected to be instrumental in driving further growth in trade.