November 5, 2011
Thailand's government will extend the effective period of import quotas for animal feed raw materials to three years to help feed producers make longer-term business plans, reports said.
Import quotas for soymeal and fishmeal are normally reviewed every year but will now be reviewed every three years. However, corn quotas will still be reviewed every year.
Feed producers and soyoil manufacturers have long complained that annual reviews and delays in decisions on quotas, resulted in shortages of raw materials and affected food prices.
The import tariff for soymeal is currently set at 2% while the rates for fishmeal and corn are based on the origin of the products.
Yanyong Phuangrach, the permanent secretary for the Commerce Ministry, said the 2% tariff on soymeal would remain to help domestic farmers.
Eight feed meal industry associations will be allowed to import soymeal on condition that they also buy agreed amounts of domestic soy.
Demand for soy this year is estimated at 2.075 million tonnes while domestic production is only 150,000 tonnes.
Fishmeal imports are duty-free from Asean, the US and Australia under free trade agreements. Imports from Japan will face a 1.67% tariff until March 2012 under the Thailand-Japan free trade agreement, but will be duty-free from April 2012 to December 2014. The normal tariff for fishmeal is 15%.
Pornsil Patcharintanakul, president of the Thai Feedmill Association, welcomed the decisions, saying producers would no longer have to wait for import permission every year.
However, the association would like to see the 2% tariff waived as production costs in Thailand are higher than in competing countries including Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Yanyong said the government had to review corn imports yearly because local production was high, and imports would be allowed from March to July.
Demand for corn last year was 4.35 million tonnes while the projection this year is 4.52 million tonnes.