Thai food exports to China will hit US$2.1bn in 2012
Busier lifestyles, increased disposable income and a growing population in China have driven demand for these food products, according to a new report.
Thai-based economics analysts, Kasikorn Research (KResearch), released the forecast export figures this week and noted that this projected growth will be up 14.3% year on year.
Organic foods also have “bright potential” due to continued concerns over food safety, Paka-on Tipayatanadaja, head of microeconomic research at KResearch, told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Tipayatanadaja said that Thailand’s foods are renowned for quality and they are foods that Chinese consumers can trust as they meet all the standards, something important to highlight amid on-going food safety fears.
Thai exporters hoping to gain China market share advised to promote the quality of produce over rivals, the report said.
Tipayatanadaja stated that it is important that Thai food manufacturers to understand the buying habits and lifestyles of Chinese consumers to gain traction in the market, as “urbanisation throughout China has changed behaviour.”
Ease of access
She said that improved infrastructure has enabled exporters to transport goods by road to Southern China, which saves time compared to shipping goods.
Thai food exporters have secured commitments with Myanmar and Lao to pass through by road to China, she added.
Consideration also needs to be put into how foods are distributed within China, she continued, and she recommended joint ventures with local distributors or retailers.
Thai meat giant, C.P Pokhand, for example, is utilising its retail business in the country to distribute products, Tipayatanadaja said.
Solid segments stay
She noted that tropical fruit exports represent 55.1% of all food exports and rice about 29% and that longians and durians will continue to be the largest fruit exports and ‘Hom Mali’ fragrant rice the most popular.