August 17, 2010
Thailand to cut soymeal import tariff to zero
Thailand plans to slash its soymeal import tariff to zero next year in a bid to curb rising feed costs and overall inflation, a senior Commerce Ministry official said on Monday (Aug 16).
Vatchari Vimooktayon, director-general of the Commerce Ministry's Department of Interior Trade, said the import tariff for soymeal would be cut from the current 2% of the price per tonne to zero by January 1, 2011, and help reduce costs of meat and eggs, major items taken into account in calculating inflation.
In response, Thai traders may slow buying in the last quarter of the year and then buy greater supplies next year, industry players said.
Thai Feed Meal Association president Pornsilp Patcharintanakul expected the use of soymeal to rise next year, tracking demand for meat which should rise in line with rebounding economy.
Headline inflation in Thailand rose 3.4% year in July from a year ago, a level economists predict could lead the central bank to raise interest rates again after a hike last month of a quarter of a percentage point from a record low of 1.25% maintained since April 2009.
Thailand consumes around 3 million tonnes of soymeal each year for livestock feed. In 2009, Thailand imported 2.1 million tonnes of soymeal.
In July, Thai feed mills bought feed wheat which was quoted at lower prices than many other feed grains like corn before drought hit the Black Sea region and prices spiked.