Poultry meat exports from Thailand are forecast to increase more than 4 percent this year, according to the country’s agriculture minister, Chatchai Sarikulya.
In 2016, the trade amounted to 720,000 metric tons (mt) with a value of THB92 billion (US$2.6 billion), reports Bangkok Post.
The ministry is hoping for exports to reach 750,000 mt in 2017. This growth is based on increased trade with South Korea. The country recently lifted a 12-year ban on imports after Thailand demonstrated it its poultry sector had fully recovered from avian influenza in 2004.
The minister said that since 2004, the country’s Livestock Development Department and poultry industry have succeeded not only in tackling the disease but also improved standards for keeping livestock and poultry.
As a result of these developments, Thailand is also increasing exports to Singapore, which has recently approved more Thai poultry processing plants, bringing to 20 the current total number of authorized facilities. After 2004, Singapore had only allowed imports of cooked poultry products from Thailand and as recently as 2012, only two plants were able to export frozen chicken. Last year, Thailand exported 16,000 mt poultry meat worth THB2.3 billion (US$65 million) to Singapore, 95 percent of which was cooked and processed chicken.
According to Chatchai, Thailand is the world’s third-largest chicken exporter, behind Brazil and the U.S.