EU, Japan import more Thai chicken

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BANGKOK, Aug 4 — The European Union (EU) and Japan have started to import more Thai chicken, especially Japan, which lifted a nine-year ban last December after veryfying that the kingdom has been free of bird flu, according to Nantawan Sakuntanak, director-general of Thailand’s International Trade Promotion Department. 

Combined imports of Thai frozen and processed chicken meat by the EU and Japan during the first six months this year rose  2.6 per cent, equivalent to about US$1.08 billion, said Ms Nantawan.

Exports of Thai fresh and processed chicken this year are projected at between 560,000 to 570,000 tonnes, valued at about Bt78 billion, up from 530,000 tonnes, valued at Bt70 billion in 2013, she said.

However, the projection for exports this year is still lower than earlier targeted, because the cutting of chicken meat is still not developed and does not meet market demand, Ms Nantawan said.

Several fast food clients, especially the well-known Family Mart of Japan which has more than 10,000 outlets, have expressed interests in importing Thai chicken, she said, adding that the Japanese government has imposed stricter measure on chicken imported into Japan. Thai operators must maintain production and packaging quality order to be able to expand export markets in future.