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Thai exporters urged to cash in on confidence crisis


September 28, 2008

Thai exporters urged to cash in on confidence crisis
A confidence crisis of the safety and hygiene of China-exported food products gives Thailand an opportunity to increase its market share in the global food market, according to a leading think tank, reported Thai News Agency.

The Siam City Research Division reported the confidence crisis would lead to a major change of the food industry in the world market.

In the short run, some countries that usually import food products from China would shift to purchases from Thailand. It would give Thai exporters a chance of grabbing the market share from China.

At the same time, consumers would be aware of product quality rather than prices, which could lead to an improvement of the product standard worldwide.

The confidence crisis might last for many years since consumers lack confidence in the food safety. So, it is a good opportunity to position more Thai food products in the world market.

The division found key food products of listed companies in Thailand that benefit from the crisis include chicken, shrimp and canned fruits.

China has annually exported around 400,000 tonnes of chicken with Japan being the major destination. It represents 85-90 percent of total sales.

Japan is also Thailand's major destination for chicken exports. Should the crisis continue unabated, Japan and other countries are likely to import the product from Thailand instead.

At the same time, China is the world's second biggest exporter of shrimp, following Thailand with an annual volume of 238,000 tonnes.

Its major destinations include the United States and Japan. The shipment represents 60 per cent of China's total export value.

Both countries are Thailand's major destinations of the shrimp export as well. So, it is a good opportunity for Thai exporters to capture market share from China.

In addition, China has annually exported around 300,000 tonnes of canned pineapple, which represents 6 per cent of total exports worldwide.

As the world's giant exporter of canned pineapples, Thailand could increase its market share of the product if the confidence crisis in China's food products persists.

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