Thailand. Millers to limit wheat imports to shore up


Amid concern over the falling prices of domestic crops, the Thai Feed Mill Association has agreed to limit its imports of wheat this year to last year's volume.

Pornsilp Patchrintanakul, president of the association, said yesterday that after discussing the matter with the Commerce Ministry, its members had agreed to slow down wheatimports.

However, the prices of domestic crops have declined during the past year mainly because global prices are falling because of lower demand from China, not because imports of wheat and other crops are rising, he said.

Since last year, China has reduced demand for tapioca and maize imported from Thailand and other countries because of its policy to rely more on domestic production.

According to the Thai Customs Department, wheatimports rose from 0.59 million tonnes in 2014 to 3.47 million tonnes last year and reached 1.92 million tonnes in the first eight months of this year.

Farmers have blamed last year's surge in wheat imports on the government's move to waive import duties on the grain.

Pornsilp said feed mills had to procure wheat and other cereals from overseas as domestic supplies are not adequate.

Each year, about 18.63 million tonnes of raw materials are needed for producing feedmeal for livestock.

Demand is increasing by 7.2 per cent a year, but domestic cereal production is expanding by only 1 per cent.

Thailand can produce about 5 million tonnes of maize a year, while demand is about 7.8 million tonnes.


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