Hopes high for renewed chicken exports to S Korea, Japan
Thailand expects good news soon on renewed export of fresh chicken to South Korea and Japan as those nations have higher confidence about producers' hygiene and safety from bird flu.Pranee Siriphand, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said chicken exports should get a significant boost this year as many importers have been ordering more fresh and frozen poultry from Thailand.
South Korea has informed the department that it will send officials to inspect chicken plants in Thailand soon to decide whether to renew imports. The Japanese government has also said it is considering sending officials in the near future for the same reason.
The Commerce Ministry's Foreign Trade Department and the Department of Livestock Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives have been working to persuade both countries to lift their bans on Thai poultry. Both used to be major importers of fresh chicken from Thailand.
The European Union resumed import of fresh chicken from the Kingdom after Thailand had been safe from avian influenza for more than five years.
"Both Korea and Japan have shown positive signs for allowing import of Thai fresh chicken. This will increase export opportunities for frozen chicken, as Thailand used to export more than 175,000 tonnes of frozen chicken to Korea and Japan each year," Pranee said.
Moreover, the Philippines will also send its officials to inspect seven processed-chicken plants in Thailand to prepare its import policy.
This year, Thailand is projected to export chicken and chicken products worth US$2.23 billion (Bt68 billion), an increase by 12 per cent from 2012. Export volume will exceed 500,000 tonnes.
The country exported 461,000 tonnes of chicken worth $1.86 billion during the first 10 months of 2012. This included 90,000 tonnes of frozen and salted chicken and 371,000 tonnes of processed chicken.
Export of frozen and salted chicken rose by 2.5 times last year over 2011, thanks to many importers including the EU, Russia and South Africa lifting their bans.