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Thai Poultry Industry To Face 40 Billion Baht Losses

by 5m Editor
13 February 2004, at 12:00am

BANGKOK - Thailand's poultry industry could face losses of up to Bt40 billion, double the government's preliminary assessment, if the bird flu outbreak in the country is not contained within three months, the Thai Chamber of Commerce said yesterday.

Thai Poultry Industry To Face 40 Billion Baht Losses - THAILAND - Thailand's poultry industry could face losses of up to Bt40 billion, double the government's preliminary assessment, if the bird flu outbreak in the country is not contained within three months, the Thai Chamber of Commerce said yesterday.

The new figure is also equivalent to the country's total chicken export value of between Bt40 billion and Bt50 billion per year.

Phornpinit Phornprapha, secretary-general of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said that so far 50 per cent of the Kingdom's chicken export value had vanished since major importers such as the European Union and Japan have banned Thai produce.

"Although the promotional campaign by the government to stimulate domestic chicken consumption was quite successful, a guarantee of no disease in Thailand is needed to reassure foreign importers," he said.

Phornpinit said the public was confused about the outbreak as the government lacks the capability to inform people about the current situation, as indicated in the reduction of consumer confidence in a business poll conducted by the chamber.

The consumer confidence index for January decreased to 109.5 from 112.4 in December, representing the first month of decrease after six months of continual rises.

Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the Centre for Economic and Business Forecasting at the University of Commerce, said the fall in the index had resulted from uncertainty about the bird-flu situation.

However, the index remains above 100, which shows that the economy is still in positive territory, he added.

Thanavath said an impact on investment was likely since the trend in the consumer confidence index on investment showed a downturn - more than 50 per cent of people are still concerned about the bird-flu situation.

Anan Jantaranukul, chief executive officer of Srithai Food & Beverage, said export orders from the EU had recently increased by 20-30 per cent after the bloc and South Korea cancelled their import ban on Thai boiled chicken. Moreover, Japanese importers have proposed restarting ordering chicken products from Thailand, despite no official announcement from the Japanese government.

"Exports show signs of increase since the ban has been lifted," said Anan.

Meanwhile, Sanae Kannasut of the Egg Producers and Exporters Association said the government's February 7 campaign to promote chicken consumption had resulted in better sales of chicken eggs.

"Before that day, not even one egg could be sold," he said.

Veerapong Panjawattanakul, president of the Broiler Association, said the price of chicken was likely to increase significantly because of a lack of supply. "Within two months, the price is likely to increase," he said.

On the other hand, the assistant secretary-general of the Thai Fed Mill Association, Paisarn Kruawongvanich, said the avian-flu epidemic had resulted in the price of raw materials used to feed chickens - such as corn, soy bean and powdered fish - to decrease because of a lack of demand.

The price of corn has fallen from Bt5.50 per kilogram in June last year to Bt4.30 now. Soy bean has fallen to 80 satang/kg from Bt13 earlier, while powdered fish is down to Bt16/kg from Bt19.50.

"The loss for the animal feed industry is estimated at Bt6 billion," said Paisarn.

Source: eFeedLink - 13th February 2004

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