Corona epidemic affects Sino-Thai trade

Value of Thai exports to China could decline by 65 million USD in first quarter

A spokesperson for the Thai Ministry of Transportation recently stated that the outbreak of the corona epidemic in China has had a significant impact on Thai export of fruit and vegetables to the Chinese market. The export value in the first quarter of this year is expected to decline by 65 million USD in comparison with the first quarter of last year.

The USA announced on 25 October, 2019 that the preferential trade agreement with Thailand was over and emphasized that after 6 months additional fees would apply to some Thai products. When the trade relation between Thailand and the USA broke down, China declared that Thai exports to China would be fee-free as part of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement. This profoundly reshaped the Thai export market.

The king of Thai fruit, the durian, is immensely popular with Chinese consumers. Data from relevant departments shows that China imported 593 thousand tons of durian from Thailand in the first 11 months of 2019, which is an increase of 41.9% in comparison with the previous year. The import value reached 10.7 billion yuan [1.5 billion USD], which is an increase of 54.8% in comparison with the previous year. A growing number of Chinese buyers traveled to Thailand to visit the fruit production areas in person. The overall value of Thai fruit export to China reached 3.2 billion USD in the first 10 months of 2019, which is an increase of 41% compared to 2018. Thailand became the world's sixth largest fruit supplier as a result of the growing trade with China.

Source: Fruit Critic [Guo Ping Jia]

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