November 19, 2008

Thailand to slash soymeal import duties by half


Import duties on soymeal, a raw material for animal feed, are to be reduced by half to 2 percent with effect from January 1, according to Commerce Minister Chaiya Sasomsab.


The reduction, if approved by the Thai cabinet on November 19, would save feed producers around 647 million baht, he said. Mr Chaiya said the tariff cut would mainly benefit the livestock industry, reducing the cost of raising pigs, cows, shrimp and poultry, and also helping egg-farmers.


The import duty reduction could cut feed meal prices by a range of 0.41 to 2.30 baht for a 30 kilogramme sack. Feed meal prices are currently 15-17 baht per kilogramme.


Thailand's annual soymeal demand is estimated at 3.66 million tonnes, with imports providing 2.1 million tonnes. Soy meal provides about 20 percent of animal feed.


Pornsil Patcharintanakul, president of the Thai Feed Mill Association, said prices of animal feeds were likely to drop further next year, given slow demand due to a recession and falling oil price.


However, he declined to predict feed prices, saying they would be determined by foreign exchange and demand for alternative energy crops.

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