June 17, 2011 


Saha Farms Group to expand



In order to enhance production capacity to fulfill higher import demand for Thai chicken, Saha Farms Group, a major Thai poultry producer, intends to invest THB15 billion (US$490,091) for this purpose.


Group president and chief executive Manoonsri Chotitawan said the investment aimed to increase chicken production to meet its export plans next year. Export volumes went up from 70,000 tonnes in 2009 to 110,000 tonnes last year, according to the media.


"Export volume is expected to grow continuously this year so we have to increase production to serve rising market demand," Chotitawan said, adding that the government should persuade importing countries to open more markets for Thai chicken. The share of Thai chicken exports in the world market can be doubled from 2% currently to 4%, or 800,000 tonnes, annually. In particular, Thailand has lost market share for frozen chicken in Japan to Brazil and China.


Thai frozen-chicken exports had been banned for five years after the bird-flu outbreak. Consequently, the country has exported only processed chicken, whose volume has dropped to 400,000 tonnes a year. The export price of the product has increased from US$3,800 a tonne to US$5,000 now due to high-quality production.


Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, director-general of the Department of Export Promotion, said such destinations as Australia, India and South Korea had high potential to be among Thailand's major export markets. The government will urgently tighten cooperation with importers from those nations to ensure smooth trade growth.

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