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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Thailand’s Fruit Exports Face Slowdown in Second Half of 2023, Driven by China’s Growth

BANGKOK – As we approach the latter half of 2023, Thailand’s fruit exports are expected to face challenges, with China emerging as the main driver of growth, according to a recent report by the prestigious Kasikorn Research Center in Bangkok.

The report highlights several factors that could impact fruit exports in the coming months. Among them are the passing of the peak season, the potential economic slowdown in major export markets, and the effects of climate change on fruit quality and yield. These combined challenges may result in a decline in the overall value of Thailand’s fruit exports for the remainder of the year.

Despite the challenges, there is hope for growth in certain segments. The recovery of trade with China is expected to bolster exports of fresh and refrigerated fruits. However, there might be a downside for canned and processed fruits, as reduced orders from markets such as the United States and the European Union could lead to declining exports in these categories.

In the first half of 2023, Thailand witnessed an impressive year-on-year growth of 10.3 percent in its fresh, refrigerated, and processed fruit exports, with a total value of 5.5 billion U.S. dollars. This growth was mainly attributed to the recovery from a low base in 2022 and robust demand from China, a crucial market for the country’s fruit exports.

Looking ahead to the second half of the year, the report predicts an estimated overall growth rate of approximately 2.3 percent, resulting in a total export value of 7.8 billion U.S. dollars for the entire year.

However, the think tank is also cautioning about the potential persistence of the El Niño phenomenon from the rest of 2023 to 2024. This weather event could pose significant risks to fruit cultivation, as seawater intrusion in fruit-growing areas may lead to higher soil salinity. Consequently, this could cause variations in raw material quality, supply shortages, and ultimately result in price increases.

As Thailand’s fruit industry navigates through a complex landscape, exporters are keeping a close eye on market dynamics and global climate patterns. The role of China as a key growth driver remains crucial, but uncertainties in the latter half of the year call for proactive measures and adaptation to sustain the country’s fruit export success.

Author: phacharaphonk

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