Less consumption hits Thai livestock sector
Thailand's livestock industry is expected to see flat
growth this year mainly due to anticipated shrinking consumption caused by the
global economic crisis.
"Two-percent growth would be the best performance for the sector, but
flat-growth is more likely," concedes Yukol Limlaemthong, director-general of
the Agriculture Ministry Livestock Development Department.
industry, both for domestic consumption and exports, generated revenue estimated
about 348 billion baht (€ 7.43b) in 2008. Exports, led by processed poultry,
contributed about 100 billion baht of the total.
Apart from shrinking
world consumption demand, the livestock industry is also facing high prices for
animal feeds such as corn and soybeans.
According to Yukol, bleak
prospects for the country's poultry shipments are also anticipated because of
the world economic crisis, with exports expected to be valued about 40-45
billion baht (€ 854-961m) this year, unchanged from a year earlier, while pork
exports are unlikely to see much change from 10,000 tons a year, mostly in
processed products to Japan and elsewhere in Asia.
"This year, farmers will have to adjust their production
to cope with the shrinking demand, while epidemics remain another challenge for
the industry that requires closer monitoring, as bird flu has re-emerged as a
threat, after China recently reported it had killed a woman in Beijing and
The cases, the first involving humans in nearly a
year, mark the reappearance of the H5N1 virus as Asia moves into the cold winter
months that favor the spread of the virus.
"We are strongly committed to
wiping out bird flu in the risk areas, notably in the lower northern areas this
year," says Yukol. (jr)
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