Halal foods attracting Muslim travellers
Thailand’s livestock product exports are expected to exceed 130 billion baht this year, driven largely by the poultry and animal feed sectors.
“Thailand is currently the world’s third-largest poultry exporter after Brazil and the US,” said Tritsadee Chaosuancharoen, director-general of the Livestock Development Department. “Thanks to a policy of developing the country’s livestock products for export, we’re feeling upbeat that shipments will exceed 130 billion baht by year-end, up from 1.28 billion last year.”
In the first half of this year, Thailand shipped 65 billion baht worth of livestock products, up by 6.15% year-on-year.
The department forecasts livestock product exports will maintain average annual growth of 4-5% thanks to growing global demand. Moreover, Mr Tritsadee said Thailand was developing its halal food production and halal tourism services to attract wealthy travellers from Muslim countries.
Some 500,000 tourists from the Persian Gulf are expected to visit Thailand this year, with arrivals enjoying annual growth of 40% in recent years.
Thailand is the eighth most popular destination for Muslim tourists, with Malaysia and Turkey taking the top spots.
Some hotels in Thailand have started setting up halal zones for Muslim tourists and in the future are likely to offer separate spas and swimming pools for men and women.
Kukrit Arepogorn, manager of the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association, said the country was expected to ship 560,000 to 570,000 tonnes of fresh and processed broilers worth 78 billion baht this year, up from 530,000 tonnes worth 70 billion baht last year.
“Thailand’s chicken exports look promising in the second half thanks to higher shipments to Japan,” he said.
“More importantly, from July Thailand can ship processed chicken to fast-food outlets in the Philippines after the lifting of a 10-year ban due to bird flu.”
The latest food outlook published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization suggests global poultry production is expected to grow by 1.6% to 109 million tonnes this year.
The expansion is driven largely by developed economies as production in developing countries declines. The Chinese poultry industry has been battling a bird flu outbreak that started last year. As a result, production is forecast to fall by 1.7% in 2014. In the US, production is projected to rise by 1.8% to a record 20.6 million tonnes, while EU production is forecast to increase by 0.8%.
Brazil and Mexico are also expected to show some production gains. Similarly, production in Russia and India is projected to increase by 8% and 6%, respectively.
The global trade in poultry meat has doubled over the past decade. Growth slowed in 2012 and 2013, but a 2.4% increase is anticipated this year.
Originally published on www.bangkokpost.com