Corn: Ecuador Becomes the Top Export Market of Thailand
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Thailand’s MY2023/24 Corn production is forecast at 5.4 MMT. A recovery in main-crop Corn production and expected yield increases from available water supplies and suitable planting conditions will help MY2023/24 Corn production by 4 percent from MY2022/23. In February 2023, the average farmgate price of Corn was 11,310 baht/MT ($343/MT), which was 26 percent higher than last year due to insufficient locally produced Corn and uncertainty in the global Corn trade. However, farmers face higher costs for chemical fertilizers, which account for 16-20 percent of total production costs. Average fertilizer prices 2022 increased to 25,042 baht per MT ($716/MT), up 67 percent from 14,974 baht per metric ton ($444/MT) in 2021.
Post’s forecast for MY2022/23 Corn production remains unchanged at 5.2 MMT, down 2 percent from MY2021/22 due to reduced off-season Corn acreage. Farmers reportedly switched to crops with more attractive returns, such as sugar cane and cassava. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives reported marginal damage from fall armyworm outbreaks and Downy mildew disease in both primary and off-season Corn production as farmers were well equipped to manage them.
MY2023/24 Corn consumption is projected at 6.9 MMT, up 3 percent from MY2022/23. Post anticipates a significant recovery in swine production from 2022 but not a full recovery as swine production is expected to take 3-5 years to fully recover from the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak. Swine farmers face additional costs for biosafety and biosecurity procedures to ensure traceability. The Thai Feed Mill Association (TFMA) expects total feed demand to increase to 19.99 MMT in 2023, up 5 percent from the previous year. Swine production will gradual recovery from the ASF outbreak, and poultry production continues to grow due to chicken meat and products export demand.
In addition, the expected economic recovery, especially in the tourism and service sectors, will drive demand for pork meat consumption. High feed prices and biosecurity prevent producers from returning to normal operations. TFMA estimated that prices of feed ingredients increased by 10 percent from the same period last year due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The jump in prices of feed ingredients will likely slow the recovery in swine production as costs of feed account for 60-70 percent of total swine production costs.
MY2022/23 Corn consumption will increase by 1.5 percent from MY2021/22 from a gradual recovery in swine feed demand and growing demand for poultry feed. The Swine Raisers Association of Thailand expects domestic swine production to go up to 1.3 MMT in 2023, up 13 percent from 2022, due to a recovery in the Thai economy, especially in the tourism and service sectors. The increase in swine production will drive feed demand higher from the previous year, as swine production accounted for nearly 30 percent of total feed demand.
Corn Trade in Thailand
Post forecasts MY2023/24 Corn exports at 100,000 MT, an 82 percent increase from MY2022/23, driven by the recovery in MY2023/24 Corn production. Post expects Corn exports in MY2022/23 to drop to 55,000 MT, down 53 percent from the previous year. Corn exports totaled 12,419 MT in the first six months of MY2022/23, down 83 percent from 75,372 MT from the same period in MY2021/22.
The top three markets for Thai Corn exports were Ecuador, Vietnam, and Burma importing 2,484 MT, 1,861 MT, and 1,641 MT, respectively. Feed mills will likely use more locally produced Corn for poultry feed production. The export sector continued to show signs of a slowdown during the fourth quarter of 2022 in line with global economic conditions. In terms of import, Brazil shipped 73,000 tons of Corn to Thailand in Jan 2023, according to AgFlow data.
Other sources: USDA
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