The Department of International Trade Negotiations has revealed that Thai agricultural and processed agricultural product exports to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partner markets have continued to flourish throughout the first eight months of 2023. This remarkable growth extends to a variety of products, including fruits, rice, chicken, shrimp, sugar, canned seafood, ice cream, as well as industrial products such as cars, gems, and motorcycles.
The Director-General of the Department of International Trade Negotiations disclosed that they have closely monitored Thai product exports to 18 trading partner countries with existing FTAs. In the eight-month period from January to August 2023, these exports accumulated a value of 110,933 million US dollars. This figure reflects a 6% reduction when compared to the same period last year, primarily attributed to the global economic slowdown leading to a minor export deceleration. However, it was also noted that exports of agricultural products, processed agricultural products, and industrial products possess the potential for further expansion, underscoring the vital role that FTAs play in creating trade advantages for Thai products in international markets.
Agricultural products, characterized by their high production and export potential, are of particular significance. Thailand currently holds the position of the leading ASEAN exporter, with its products enjoying substantial growth in FTA partner countries. Key highlights include fresh, chilled, frozen, and dried fruits valued at 5,314 million US dollars, marking a remarkable 23% expansion.
Key export markets for these fruits include China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Korea. Rice, valued at 1,011 million US dollars, exhibited outstanding growth, surging by 69%, with significant export markets including Indonesia, China, and Japan. The export of fresh, chilled, and frozen chicken, worth 875 million US dollars, saw a substantial increase of 29%, primarily driven by demand from China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and Hong Kong. Fresh, chilled, and frozen shrimp, valued at 292 million US dollars, expanded by 12% and found significant export markets in China, Japan, and South Korea.
The export of processed agricultural products to FTA partner countries continued its upward trajectory, including sugar valued at 2,563 million US dollars, registering a 14% increase. Major export destinations for sugar included Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Cambodia. Similarly, canned and processed seafood, valued at 909 million US dollars, showed a 1% expansion, with prominent export markets being Japan, Australia, and Chile. Canned and processed fruit, worth 442 million US dollars, experienced a 7% increase in exports, with China, Japan, and Australia as the primary destinations. Canned and processed vegetables, valued at 233 million US dollars, grew by 17%, with Japan, South Korea, and China serving as crucial markets. Finally, ice cream exports, valued at 92 million US dollars, expanded by 16%, with significant export destinations being Malaysia, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Singapore.
In the realm of industrial products, Thailand’s export potential shone through, making it the leading ASEAN exporter in many categories. Notable products included automobiles, equipment, and components valued at 11,938 million US dollars, marking a 10% increase. Key export markets for these products included Australia, the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The export of gems, encompassing diamonds, gemstones, and pearls, reached a total value of 1,199 million US dollars, representing a 15% expansion, with Hong Kong, India, and Japan as primary destinations. Additionally, motorcycles and parts, worth 1,234 million US dollars, experienced a 12% increase in exports, finding key markets in Japan, China, Australia, and the Philippines.