The Swine Raisers Association of Thailand urges the government to remove the soymeal import tariff on Tuesday (September 16, 2008), according to a report by The Nation.
The association said that a zero tariff would help them to handle rising costs as pork prices fell to THB 50-54 per kg compared with production costs of THB 56 per kg. The group has asked the relevant ministries, especially Commerce, Agriculture, Finance, Industry and Interior, to consider the proposal jointly.
Association chief Surachai Sutthitham, said the cost of soymeal, which is the main cost in pig farming, has increased to THB 18.5-19 per kg from THB 11-12 in previous years.
Farmers are currently also cashing in on the energy crisis by cultivating alternative fuel crops.
Imported soymeal is currently subject to a 4 percent duty rate. Pork production costs could fall THB 40.5 per kg if the government agrees to remove the tariff.
The proposal aims to help Thai pig farmers to survive as some of them were forced to leave the business due to high input costs, according to Surachi.
The 4 percent soymeal import tariff was calculated at THB 9-10 per kg, a price that does not reflect current production costs and should be revised downwards, Surachi said.
Thailand needs to import 90 percent of soymeal as domestic producers are unable to meet local demand.