Thailand’s livestock sector is poised for a record-breaking year, with exports anticipated to surpass 130 billion baht, fueled by robust performances in the poultry and animal feed industries. This remarkable growth cements Thailand’s position as the world’s third-largest poultry exporter, trailing only behind global leaders Brazil and the United States. The strategic focus on enhancing the export capabilities of the country’s livestock products has been a key driver of this success, according to Tritsadee Chaosuancharoen, the director-general of the Livestock Development Department. With an impressive surge to 130 billion baht from last year’s 1.28 billion, the sector’s upward trajectory is clear.
The first half of the year already showcased a promising start, with 65 billion baht in exports, marking a 6.15% increase compared to the same period last year. This momentum is expected to continue, supported by a global demand that grows stronger by the day. The Livestock Development Department projects a steady annual growth rate of 4-5% for livestock product exports. Additionally, Thailand is expanding its reach into the lucrative halal food market and enhancing its halal tourism offerings, aiming to attract affluent travelers from Muslim-majority countries.
The appeal of Thailand as a travel destination for Muslim tourists is on the rise, with the country now ranking as the eighth most popular choice globally, thanks in part to initiatives like halal zones in hotels and the provision of gender-segregated amenities. This year alone, Thailand expects to welcome around 500,000 tourists from the Persian Gulf, continuing a trend of 40% annual growth in arrivals from the region.
On the export front, the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association highlights a bright outlook for chicken exports, with projections set between 560,000 to 570,000 tonnes, valued at 78 billion baht. This marks a significant increase from the previous year’s 530,000 tonnes, worth 70 billion baht. The lifting of a decade-long ban by the Philippines due to bird flu concerns opens up new avenues for Thai chicken products, particularly in fast-food chains, signaling a promising second half of the year.
Globally, the poultry industry is navigating through various challenges and opportunities. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s latest report forecasts a 1.6% increase in global poultry production, reaching 109 million tonnes. While developed economies drive much of this growth, the industry in developing countries faces setbacks, notably China’s ongoing battle with a bird flu outbreak. Conversely, the United States and the European Union are seeing production increases, with the US hitting a record 20.6 million tonnes.
The landscape of global poultry trade has evolved dramatically, doubling over the past decade. After a period of slowed growth, a resurgence is expected with a 2.4% increase in trade this year. This dynamic environment presents both challenges and opportunities for key players like Thailand, which continues to strengthen its position in the global market through strategic expansion and adaptation to changing consumer demands and health concerns.