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Soy Duty Cut Ahead to Reduce Food Prices

by 5m Editor
20 December 2010, at 7:58am

THAILAND - To reduce the cost of food in the shops, the government is to cut the duty on imported soybean meal.

The government plans to use the duty income charged on imported soybean meal to lower the production cost of chicken, pork and eggs so it can cut the retail prices on these items for consumers, reports Bangkok Post. The strategy is part of a broader policy to cut the price of some foods and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to reduce the cost of living.

Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, secretary-general to the National Economic and Social Development Board, said the programme was meant to assist small farm raisers of pork, chicken and eggs.

Soybean meal is a raw material in the animal feed industry, and the tariff revenue is quite high at about 500 to 600 million baht a year - sufficient to finance small farmers buying cheaper ingredients to make feed meal.

Normally, Thailand imposes a two per cent tariff on imports of soybean meal under the quota system approved by the World Trade Organisation. Any imports from non-WTO members will be charged 10 per cent.

Small raisers including farm co-operatives control only about 20 per cent of meat and egg production in the country. The majority is produced by large private companies.

The government planned to announce a series of measures to lessen the cost of living on Friday (17 December), according to Bangkok Post.