3 February 2021 – Like other nations in Southeast Asia, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had little impact on demand for essential items, including food and animal protein.
According to Mr. Boontham Aramsiriwat, Secretary General of Thai Feed Mill Association (TMFA), Thailand remained a robust meat producer and exporter last year. In principle, the decrease of GDP is major cause of industry recession, but as long as consumption is undisturbed, feed production also remains on track.
“Chicken meat is our highlight, we export both raw and processed chicken meat to Europe and Japan. In the first quarter of 2020 we expected to see roughly a 5-10% drop in poultry feed production, but it turned out differently. We can say that animal feed production in Thailand only saw a slight effect from this pandemic situation in 2020,” he said.
TFMA data shows that total feed production in 2020 amounted to approximately 20.5 million tonnes, up 0.3% from 2019. Broiler chicken feed declined 1.3% from 2019 levels at 8.03 million tonnes.
The Thai Feed Mill Association plays a role in centralising animal feed manufacturers in Thailand as well as communicating key information to domestic and international members. “90% of feed mills in Thailand are our members,” added Mr. Boontham.
“70% of Thai meat production is for local consumption and 30% is exported,” went on to say Mr. Boontham, adding that the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks in neighbouring countries in the past few years surprisingly urged the growth of Thailand’s pork exports.
“Due to ASF, neighbouring countries like China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar lacked pork supply, this unexpectedly affected year-on-year growth of Thai pork exports from 2-3% to 5-6%,” he commented. In terms of aqua feed, the main products in Thailand are red tilapia, Nile tilapia, catfish and vannamei shrimp, for which feed output remained more or less unchanged in 2020.
TFMA expects to see 0.9% overall growth in feed production in 2021 at 20.69 million tonnes, up from 20.5 million tonnes in 2020.
“Thanks to our efficiency and strict biosecurity measures, our production is advantaged. Chicken are mostly fed in secure facilities and we are expanding this to pig farming as well,” said Mr. Boontham.