The Commerce Ministry in Thailand is considering extending its tariff cut on imported soybean meal for another six months to help reduce the cost of feed-meal production amid the rising prices of cereal grains in the global market. Feed millers want an end to the import tariff.
Vatchari Vimooktayon, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, said the ministry would continue to waive import tariffs on soybean meal amid worries that the higher cost of raw materials could have a chain effect on the prices of feed meal and meat. So far, the tariff for soybean meal import has been set at 2%.
Pornsilp Patcharintanakul, president of the Thai Feed Mill Association, said the government should urgently waive import tariffs for soybean meal as the cost of feed-meal production had increased greatly in the past few months because of the drought in the United States.
He pointed out that the cost of feed-meal production had increased continuously. For instance, the price of maize is up almost 20% since last year and soybean price has risen 25%.
Pornsilp expects the price of feed meal to continue to rise because of the prolonged US drought.
Since soybean meal accounts for 50% of the total production cost of feed meal and if the government does not eliminate the import tariff on soybean meal, the price of feed meal will have to be increased. That would affect the cost of production for livestock farmers and, consequently, food prices.
Pornsilp called for the government to scrap the import tariff on soybean meal permanently, as Thailand cannot produce enough soybean and soybean meal to support feed-meal production.