BANGKOK, 4 July 2019(NNT) - The global economic slowdown has affected people’s purchasing power worldwide, but there have been no reports so far of the smuggling of fishery products which could affect prices in the Thai fishing industry .
Ms. Chutima Bunyapraphassorn, Deputy Minister of Commerce, confirmed today that the overall global economy remains in a slowdown, resulting in a decline in the overall prospects of many products including fishery products. This can be seen from the GDP figures that decreased from 3.8 percent in 2017 to 3.6 percent in 2018, directly affecting the purchasing power of consumers and causing the prices of many agricultural product types in the market to drop. As for a decline in the seafood industry, she stated that the Ministry of Commerce has cooperated with the Department of Fisheries and related agencies to monitor the Thale Thai Market, the largest wholesale market of fishery products in the country, accounting for as much as 70 percent of sales. It was found that increased imports of fish and related sea creatures include a group of aquatic products which are processed for export and are sold at restaurants, such as mackerel, salmon, trout, cod, etc. Since they are not otherwise available in this country, they don’t affect the prices of aquatic creatures caught by Thai fishing boats. Imports of octopus have also increased slightly compared to the same period last year.
Although the statistics don’t indicate that imports are unusually high, she has advised that the Ministry of Commerce has measures available to cope with the issue if the volume of imports of legal fishing products that are not IUU related, being brought into Thailand becomes unusually high and begins to affect the prices of the domestic fishing industry. Processed seafood products are important exports for Thailand, generating revenue of as much as 185 billion baht per year for the country. Thailand is the world’s No. 1 exporter of canned tuna and processed sardines.