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Thread: Exports - agricultural, manufactured goods and services

  1. #1
    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Feb 2011

    Exports - agricultural, manufactured goods and services

    [SIZE="4"]Part One - agriculture[/SIZE] [SIZE="1"] (comment and criticism welcome on this draft editorial - Copyright of KaptainRob)[/SIZE]

    Thai agriculture is highly diversified with rice being the most important export crop followed by, though not limited to, rubber, sugar, palm oil, chicken, seafood, tapioca, and coffee.

    A steady decline, percentage-wise, in reliance upon agricultural exports, is due to growth in manufactured goods. Many manufactured exports are however, agriculturally based, processed/value-added income producers, such as canned tuna, pineapple, and shrimp products. Manufactured goods account for ~ 40% of all exports.

    That’s not to say that agricultural production has fallen, just the ratio of raw export has changed from 40% of GNP since 1960, to less than 10% today.

    Note: The other 50% of Thailand’s export revenue is derived primarily from Services.

    ^ KR threshing rice in Isaan

    Rice production has increased with better soil management, fertilisers and new strains of rice and Government subsidies. The latter has created a mammoth problem for ~ 2014/15 years when subsidies end and prices may plummet. Stockpiling is approaching saturation point with even the largest mills utilising outdoor space as all aircraft-hanger sized warehouses are filled beyond capacity.

    Once the World’s #1 supplier, the rice glut in Thailand may be blamed on increased production and cheaper grain coming out of India and Vietnam. At a time of high (subsidised) prices being paid to Thai producers only a catastrophic weather event in the new primary producing countries might provide some relief.

    Note: Hom Mali is the most valuable rice strain, commonly known as Jasmine rice, and sought after for its nutty flavour. Buy only genuine Thailand rice marked as ‘100% hom mali’ – not cheap imitations or blends packaged under the name ‘jasmine’.

    ^ latex 'pelts' drying in the sun

    Rubber (natural para-rubber) production went through a similar period of high demand, increased prices and Government-sponsored expansion ~ 3 years ago.

    China’s demand has since fallen and prices returned to normal, leaving many Thai producers short of cash. Government subsidised saplings (supplied free under some provisions) had seen many farmers buy land, and plant trees at a ratio of ~ 70 trees per rai.

    Rubber trees take ~ 7 years to come into production and not only did Thailand increase land under rubber, but so did other countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, India and of course, China. China is also a leading synthetic (petroleum-derived) rubber producer.

    Note: Thailand exports bulk natural rubber (smoked latex pelts) as it has no established (Internationally recognisable) tyre manufacturing. The majority of locally produced goods being for industrial, chemical or agricultural use.

    ^ cane sugar plantation

    Sugar – grown, milled and refined predominantly in Thailand’s north-east is a major export earner. Whilst domestic use has doubled (per capita) in the past 30 years due partly to increased consumption of soft-drinks, Thai’s are relatively low users of cane sugar, palm sugar being preferred for home consumption.
    Though cane sugar consumption is rising, particularly with the increased production of fast foods, around 70% is still exported annually.

    World markets are predominantly China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia but also the USA, Iran and former Soviet Union countries.

    ^ Cassava foliage

    Tapioca is produced from the tuber or roots of Cassava which is grown in poor dry soils almost everywhere in north-eastern Thailand where rice and more lucrative crops are not easily cultivated.

    Cassava is labour intensive at planting and harvest time and at current price, uneconomical to farm commercially. Family operated plantations supply local mills where the tubers are chopped up and sun dried before milling into tapioca flour and other starch products.

    China is Thailand’s main market where tapioca is an important food product, high in carbohydrates and other dietary needs such as folic acid, omega3, iron and calcium.

    Note: Tapioca is the source of polymers used in making biodegradable ‘plastic bags’.

    ^ palm oil seeds en-route to refinery (Ranong)

    Palm oil – Indonesia and Malaysia are the World’s leading growers and exporters of palm oil. Thailand’s production (less than 2% of the above), is mainly sold domestically as cooking oil or used in bio-diesel fuels. Annual surplus, when available, is exported.
    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

  2. #2
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Nomad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Thanks Rob.

    Here's the stats across countries and high level sectors...

    List of countries by GDP sector composition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    "Don't wait around for your life to happen to you. Find something that makes you happy and do it. Everything else is just background noise." George Mason

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