Drought Impacts Thailand’s Cassava Exports: Decreased Output and Import Demands Rise

The drought in Thailand has significantly impacted the country’s cassava production, leading to a decrease in exports of cassava and its products. The Foreign Trade Department, a division of the Ministry of Commerce, estimates that this year’s exports will reach 9 million tonnes, compared to 11 million tonnes last year.

Ronnarong Phoolpipat, the director-general of the department, highlighted the strong demand for tapioca and tapioca products from Thailand, with customers willing to purchase all available quantities. However, the drought conditions this year have negatively affected Thai production, resulting in a decline in output.

Phoolpipat advised farmers against hastily harvesting small cassava roots during periods of high prices, as this can have a detrimental impact on the overall quality of the produce.

Between January and May of this year, Thailand exported 4.73 million tonnes of cassava and cassava products, valued at 7 billion USD. These figures represent a decrease of 21% and 19% in volume and value, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

China remains the largest export market for Thai cassava products, accounting for 65% of the total exports.

To meet the demand, Thailand is expected to import approximately 2.4 million tonnes of cassava chips from neighboring countries like Laos and Cambodia.