Thai vegetable exports increased 96% in first quarter

The Free Trade Agreements (FTA) will help Thailand’s vegetable exports to grow steadily, especially to China, which has a huge consumer market. According to official data, Thailand’s vegetable exports to China in the first quarter of 2021 have increased by 96%. The export to ASEAN countries and South Korea has also been performing well. Cassavas and chilis are some of the most popular products.

The Director of the International Trade Negotiations Office of the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, believes that there is still a lot of room for growth in the export of agricultural products such as vegetables. In particular, with the FTAs, Thailand’s cassavas and chilis have won over China, ASEAN countries, South Korea, and other Asia-Pacific countries. In the first quarter of this year, Thai vegetables exported to China under the FTA framework increased by 96% year-on-year, with a total export value of approximately US$471 million.

She emphasized that China is one of the 18 countries that have signed an FTA with Thailand, and it is also the country’s most important export market for frozen, fresh, and dehydrated vegetables, accounting for up to 81% of the total exports. In addition to China, Thailand also has FTAs with ASEAN member states, Hong Kong, South Korea, and India. Exports to ASEAN countries totaled US$30 million (a year-on-year increase of 60%), to Hong Kong totaled US$3 million (a year-on-year increase of 1%), to South Korea totaled US$2 million (a year-on-year increase of 23%), and to India totaled US$700,000 (a year-on-year increase of 12%).

Thailand’s main export products to the FTA markets, such as fresh, dried, or dehydrated cassavas, had a total export value of US$387 million, up 86%, for which China and Japan are the two main markets. Fresh chili exports were at US$31 million, showing a year-on-year increase of 708%, for which China and Malaysia are the most important markets. Sweet corns are mainly exported to Japan and Singapore, valued at approximately US$9 million, seeing an increase of 13% year on year.

In 2020, the total value of frozen, fresh, and dehydrated vegetables exported by Thailand is US$1.006 billion, an increase of 16% year on year. The main export markets are China, ASEAN states, and Japan. In the first quarter of this year, Thailand exported US$506 million worth of products, seeing an increase of 71%.

Source: Thailand China, China Daily

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