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Poultry Meat Exports on Track Despite Floods

by 5m Editor
8 November 2011, at 11:50am

THAILAND - While 1.5 million broilers and layers perished in the floods, chicken exports are reported to be back on track amid a rush to place orders.

Foreign buyers have rushed to buy chicken meat from Thailand for fear of delivery disruptions due to flooding, reports Bangkok Post.

Advance orders have been booked for delivery as far ahead as the third quarter of 2012, said Kukrit Arepagorn, the manager of the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association.

"Although most broiler farms have seen no impact from the floods, buyers are still concerned about logistics and shipment delays," he said.

Export prices for chicken meat products bound for Japan rose to more than US$5,000 per tonne last month, and European Union export prices reached $4,000. Products requiring skilled labour, such as yakitori grilled chicken, can fetch $8,000 a tonne. The upward trend is likely to continue.

Most orders come from Japan and the EU, the two biggest buyers of Thai chicken products.

High prices in the first half of 2011 were boosted by demand from Japan after the tsunami. The conditions pushed the average price of live chickens in October to 46 baht (THB) per kilogramme, from THB40 for all of 2010.

According to Mr Kukrit, three chicken production plants in Pathum Thani and Thon Buri have been hit by floods, but they have already shifted orders to other companies.

Floods have ravaged several provinces but not in the East, a location of big chicken producers and exporters such as GFPT Plc, nor the Northeast, a hub of CPF, Betagro, Saha Farms and Cargill.

No export drop is on the cards this year, Mr Kukrit said, with Thailand on track to ship out 450,000 tonnes or more of chicken meat.

In the first half, the country exported 213,223 tonnes of chicken products, a 6.3 per cent rise year-on-year.

The local industry expects chicken meat sales to Japan, which buys about half of Thailand's chicken exports, to rise 20 per cent in both price and quantity this year.

A source from the Livestock Development Department said 12 million animals had been affected by the floods since July, according to Bangkok Post. While 1.5 million broilers and layers perished, the figure is small when compared with the 1.08 billion broilers raised this year.

Mr Kukrit said the floods cut sales in the affected zones but he is confident that consumption will improve after the disaster.