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Foodservice profile – Thailand

June 2020

Executive summary

Thailand had a population of 69.4 million in 2018. According to Global Data, the country had the seventh largest foodservice market in 2019 among the Asia-Pacific region after China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia and Australia.

In 2018, the country's gross domestic product (GDP) was valued at US$504.9 billion and the GDP per capita was at US$7273.

The five key consumer segments in Thailand's foodservice sector are: frugal convenience-seekers, time-poor experimenters, sporadic splurgers, regimented routiners and inbetweeners. Rapid urbanization in the capital city, Bangkok, and other parts of the country coupled with the growth of the tourism industry are expected to be the main drives in Thailand's foodservice sector.

The restaurant subsector is the largest foodservice sector in Thailand, with on-trade sales valued at US$6.2 billion in 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% over the 2016-2019 period. This subsector's sales is expected to increase to US$7 billion over 2020-2023 with a CAGR of 3.1%. The second largest subsector is mobile operators (US$2.3 billion), followed by accommodation (US$2.0 billion) and pubs, clubs & bars (US$1.9 billion).

In 2019, Thailand total agri-food and seafood imports were valued at US$16.8 billion, which grew by a CAGR of 4.86% from 2015 to 2019. Thailand was the fourth largest importer of Canadian agri-food and seafood products within the ASEAN market. Agri-food and seafood product imports from Canada were valued at US$179.7 million.

Consumer behaviour

Consumer trends

In 2017, the final consumption expenditure per capita in Thailand was 111,292 Thai baht (US$3,584.7Footnote 1) up from TBH 107,494 in 2016 (US$3,462.3) (Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, 2018).

In 2018, food and non-alcoholic beverages represented the largest share (22.6%) of individual consumption expenditure of households in Thailand, followed by restaurants and hotels (17.7%) and transport (14.1%). Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics accounted for 3.1% of individual consumption expenditure of households in 2018.

Food and non-alcoholic final consumption expenditure increased by 1.4% compared to 2017, while restaurants and hotels' share increased by 6.0% between 2017 and 2018. Individual consumption expenditure of households increased by 0.7% for alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics.

Changes in private final consumption expenditure, 2017 to 2018
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  • Individual consumption expenditure of households: 4.8%
  • Food and non-alcoholic: 1.4%
  • Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotic: 0.7%
  • Clothing and footwear: 2.9%
  • Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels: 4.3%
  • Furnishings, households equipment and routine maintenance of the house: 5.0%
  • Health: 5.3%
  • Transport: 8.9%
  • Communication: 5.0%
  • Recreation and culture: 5.6%
  • Education: 6.2%
  • Restaurants and hotels: 6.0%

Source: Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board - National Accounts of Thailand, 2018

The Thai government is trying to regulate the food sector and improve the image of the latter in order to bolster the country's spot as one of the 'culinary melting pot' of Asia. Although consumers tend to spend less due to the rising cost of living, the foodservice sector is expected to continue its growth thanks to a rapid urbanization, a strong tourism industry and an ageing population, which will create opportunities in the institutional foodservice sector.

Thailand's coffee and tea shops category is the fastest growing segment within the restaurant subsector with a CAGR of 4.3% over the 2016-2019 period. Customers in-work with busier lifestyles are looking for vibrant spots with a casual atmosphere to socialize. Interested exporters could tap into this potential category, which is expected to grow by a CAGR of 3.7% over the 2017-2023 period.

Consumer segments

In 2017, GlobalData conducted a foodservice survey interviewing a thousand Thai consumers and included a range of questions to establish consumers' attitudes and preferences when eating and drinking out. The survey identified the following consumer segments, which may help Canadian agri-food and seafood exporters to learn how to better position themselves in the Thai foodservice market.

Consumer segments in Thailand's foodservice marketFootnote 2

Frugal convenience-seekers:

Time-poor experimenters:

Sporadic pludgers:

Regimented routiners:

Inbetweeners:

The inbetweeners represent the largest consumer group in Thailand with 28% share of the country's population. However, the frugal convenience seekers lead the way in all other three major foodservice channels, followed by the inbetweeners and the sporadic slurgers. The channel that is most sought by this consumer segment is the full service restaurant (FSR) channel. Time-poor experimenters share's across the various channels are consistent, but FSR (14%) is the preferred channel for this segment. Sporadic splurgers indicate a preference for coffee and tea shops (23%). The consumer segment with the lowest share in all four major channels is the regimented routiners who represent 10% of the Thai population, and have 8% share in both the quick service restaurant (QSR) and coffee and tea shop channels.

Consumer segment shares of population and transactions in four major foodservice channels (%)
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Frugal Convenience Seekers Time-Poor Experimenters Sporadic Splurgers Regimented Routiners Inbetweeners
Thai Population 27 11 23 10 28
Quick service restaurant 33 13 21 8 25
Full service restaurant 34 14 21 7 25
Coffee and tea shop 30 12 23 8 27

Source: Global Data, Thailand - The Future of Foodservice to 2022, 2018

Foodservice market

The foodservice sector is dominated by QSR, FSR and mobile operators. Thailand is well know for its street food culture and various types of culinary specialities. The robust tourism industry and spending by foreign tourists is a pillar of the foodservice industry, generating US$17.3 billion in 2017 (USDA, 2018). The Thai economy is recovering after the growth rate slumped in 2012 and it is forecast that the growth value of the foodservice sector will slow down by 2022. However, with a low level of unemployment, and the government announcement of an increase in public expenditure to also foster private investments, the Thai foodservice industry is adapting to the rise of consumer segments who enjoy eating and drinking out and having a variety of meal options, especially within the rise of the urbanite middle class families.

Recent trends and events that will contribute to the expected foodservice expansion include:

  1. Rapid urbanization in Bangkok and other cities is expected to increase imports within a large diversity of agri-food and seafood products
  2. The dynamic tourism industry, one of the most important in Asia, is growing with the presence of a large number of hotels and restaurants
  3. Increasing international traveling, studies abroad and social media are influencing consumer eating habits
  4. An increasing preference for coffee and tea shop channels among busier and younger age segment
  5. Ageing population. which will create opportunities in healthcare and the institutional food service sector
  6. Increasing interest in healthy, fresh and natural food products
  7. Thais are eating out more often, about 56 times per month, inciting operators to diversify their options and offering more indulgent food

The tourism industry is expected to play an instrumental role in expanding the Thai foodservice industry. The government aims at increasing the number of foreign tourists and both local hotels and restaurants are catering their offerings to meet customers' desire for quality food. Revenues from food and beverages are believed to account for 40% of these venues (USDA, 2018). Imported food products are essential for the foodservice operators to meet the increasing demand in diverse food types, especially from hotels and restaurants. Strong competition in the sector force operators to offer options ranging from casual to gastronomic food options, to meet all age segment groups of the population. This also encourages operators to use technologies to diversify food delivery methods through mobile applications and online bookings.

Thailand has the second largest foodservice sector among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) after that of Indonesia. In 2019, the country's foodservice sector sales were valued at US$31.6 billion at a CAGR of 3% over the 2016-2019 period. The sector is expected to grow at a slower rate over the 2020-2023 period with a CAGR of 2.3% and forecast to reach US$34.5 billion by 2023. Thailand's foodservice sector, however, is expected to grow less than those of Malaysia (4.3% CAGR), Indonesia (3.2%), the Philippines (5.5%), and than Singapore (4.7%).

Association of Southeast Asian Nations foodservice value sales by country, in US$ millions, historical and forecast
Country 2016 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019 2020 2023 CAGR* % 2020-2023
Indonesia 46,980.4 52,869.3 4.0 54,757.1 60,195.2 3.2
Malaysia 18,192.3 20,985.3 4.9 21,859.0 24,810.7 4.3
Philippines 13,767.4 15,895.7 4.9 16,738.9 19,668.2 5.5
Singapore 7,908.8 9,269.1 5.4 9,768.2 11,216.4 4.7
Thailand 28,931.3 31,646.5 3.0 32,192.3 34,482.7 2.3

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Note: No data available for the other five ASEAN countries (Viet-Nam, Brunei, Cambodia, Burma, Laos)

The restaurant subsector is the largest foodservice subsector in Thailand. In 2019, sales in this subsector were valued at US$6.3 billion, with a CAGR of 3.5% over the 2016-2019 period. For the 2020 −2023 period, the growth rate is expected to be 3.1%, with sales estimated to reach US$7.0 billion by 2023. The Mobile operators (US$2.3 billion) were the second largest subsector in 2019, followed by the accommodation subsector (US$ 2 billion). The pub, club and bars subsector was the fastest growing during the 2016-2019 period with a CAGR of 4.5%. The growth rate of this subsector is expected to be at a CAGR of 1.3% between 2020-2023, which is a decline compared to the historical period. The mobile operator is expected to have the highest CAGR between 2020-2023 with a growth of 4.0%.

Value sales and growth of Thailand's foodservice by subsector, in US$ millions, historical and forecast
Subsector 2016 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019 2020 2023 CAGR* % 2020-2023
Accommodation 1,762.3 2,003.7 4.4 2,067.6 2,285.8 3.4
Leisure 135.4 149.5 3.3 153.1 166.0 2.7
Mobile operator 2,086.4 2,327.5 3.7 2,398.7 2,701.2 4.0
Pub, club and bar 1,741.1 1,985.6 4.5 2,037.3 2,119.4 1.3
Restaurant 5,676.3 6,297.1 3.5 6,472.4 7,095.1 3.1
Retail 418.1 459.9 3.2 472.1 519.4 3.2
Travel 156.9 175.3 3.8 179.9 193.4 2.4
Workplace 1,018.0 1,114.8 3.1 1,140.5 1,240.7 2.8

Source:  GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Quick service and fast food restaurant recorded the largest sales in 2019, at a value of US$2.9 billion and registered a CAGR of 2.7% from 2016 to 2019. Full service restaurant had the second highest sales at US$2.7 billion and registered the highest growth among the top three outlets, with a CAGR of 4.3% during the 2016-2019 period. Other mobile operators (US$2.0 billion), pubs, clubs and bars (US$1.4 billion) and hotels and motels ($US1.1 billion) were also among the largest outlets in 2019.

All outlets in the accommodation channel showed great growth from 2016 to 2019 and are expected to perform well during the 2020-2023 period. Bed and breakfast and holiday parks have the highest CAGRs, both at 5.7%. Sales from hotels and motels were, however, the most important venues in this subsector in 2019. Hotels and motels are expected to remain the most important outlets, with sales expected to reach US$1.4 billion in 2023. Bed and breakfast are forecast to experience the highest growth, at a CAGR of 6.5% to 2023.

Within the leisure subsector, entertainment had the highest sales in 2019 with sales estimated at US$67.0 million at a CAGR of 3.2% from 2016 to 2019. This outlet is expected to register a CAGR of 2.6% to 2023 and record sales valued at US$74.2 million. Venues have the highest CAGR from 2016 to 2019 with 3.6% and will remain so during the 2020-2023 period with a CAGR forecast at 3.0%.

Outlets within other mobile operators also experienced growth. The two outlets, other mobile operators and vans, grew by a CAGR of 3.7% and 3.5%, respectively from 2016 to 2019 and are expected to grow at higher rates until 2023.

Outlets within pubs, clubs and bars all grew well during the 2016-2019 period, although the growth rate is expected to decrease from 2020 to 2023. Pub and bar venues were the most important outlet in this subsector, with sales valued at US$ 1.6 billion in 2019 and accounting for 71.3% of all sales. The nightclub segment had the highest growth with a CAGR of 4.6% from 2016 to 2019 and is forecast to grow by 1.4% over 2020-2023. The other segment, private member and social clubs and pubs and bars are expected to grow by a CAGR of 1.4% and 1.3%, respectively.

The restaurant sector had two outlets with the highest sales in 2019, namely quick service and fast food restaurants and full restaurant service at US$2.9 billion and US$2.7 billion, respectively; representing 81.3% of the restaurant subsector. Quick service and fast food restaurants are expected to continue to record the highest sales to 2023, whereby ice cream parlour should experience the highest growth with a CAGR of 3.8%.

Thailand's foodservice by subsector and outlet, in US$ millions, historical and forecast
Subsector Outlet 2016 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019 2020 2023 CAGR* % 2020-2023
Accommodation Bed and breakfast 1.2 1.4 5.7 1.5 1.8 6.5
Guest house 164.4 190.4 5.0 197.6 224.8 4.4
Holiday park 397.6 469.7 5.7 490.3 569.8 5.1
Hostel 29.0 33.8 5.2 35.2 40.7 5.0
Hotel and motel 1,168.7 1,306.8 3.8 1,341.4 1,446.8 2.6
Others 1.3 1.6 5.5 1.6 1.9 4.8
Leisure Entertainment 61.0 67.1 3.2 68.7 74.2 2.6
Venue 49.8 55.4 3.6 56.8 62.0 3.0
Visitor attraction 24.6 27.0 3.1 27.6 29.8 2.5
Mobile Operator Other mobile operators 1,818.6 2,030.6 3.7 2,093.4 2,361.1 4.1
Vans 267.8 296.9 3.5 305.3 340.0 3.7
Pub, Club and Bar Nightclub 220.0 251.8 4.6 258.6 269.6 1.4
Private member and social club 105.9 120.2 4.3 123.3 128.4 1.4
Pub and bar 1,415.1 1,613.6 4.5 1,655.5 1,721.3 1.3
Restaurant Coffee and tea shop 292.9 332.4 4.3 344.0 383.7 3.7
Full service restaurant 2,430.8 2,757.3 4.3 2,851.5 3,160.5 3.5
Ice cream parlour 264.3 294.4 3.7 303.1 338.5 3.8
Quick service restaurant and fast food 2,688.3 2,912.9 2.7 2,973.8 3,212.3 2.6
Retail Baker 36.0 39.8 3.4 40.9 44.9 3.2
Convenience store 127.3 140.0 3.2 143.5 157.2 3.1
Delicatessen 5.7 6.3 3.0 6.4 7.0 2.8
Department store 1.1 1.2 2.9 1.3 1.4 2.8
Other retail 4.4 4.8 3.1 4.9 5.4 2.9
Service station forecourt 94.8 104.4 3.3 107.0 117.4 3.1
Supermarket and hypermarket 148.7 163.4 3.2 168.2 186.2 3.4
Travel Air 100.9 113.4 4.0 116.5 125.7 2.6
Rail 39.1 43.2 3.4 44.2 47.2 2.2
Sea 16.9 18.8 3.5 19.2 20.5 2.2
Workplace Government department and local authority 134.5 146.6 2.9 149.7 162.0 2.7
Industrial 425.0 465.1 3.1 475.8 517.5 2.8
Retail, financial and office based 458.6 503.1 3.1 515.0 561.3 2.9

Source:  GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Foodservice: chain franchises versus independent operators

The foodservice sector in Thailand is comprised of more than 150 000 outlets, ranging from street food carts to fine-dining restaurants and five-star hotels. According to USDA (2018), small to medium sized entreprises represent 80% of all restaurants in Thailand. International food brands such as Yum! Brands, Inc. and McDonald's Corporation are among the largest companies in the Thai foodservice landscape. Independent operators are the main drivers of the thai foodservice sector, having the largest shares in all subsectors, except for retail. This trend is expected to continue to 2023. From 2016 to 2019, chain franchises sales grew by a CAGR of 3.6% compared to 2.9% for independent operators, and the growth rate for the 2020-2023 period is expected to be 2.7% and 2.3%, respectively.

Independent restaurants represented 31.5% of all sales in 2019, whereas chain restaurants accounted for 23.5%. The chains in the retail subsector experienced the highest CAGR at 4.6%, and is expected to register the highest CAGR to 2023 at 4.4%. The popularity of the retail subsector, for both independent and chain operators, mark a transition from open-air food outlets to indoor outlets. This trend is expected to support the growth in the foodservice sector and offer more options to consumers.

Historical and forecast sales of Thailand's foodservice sector: chain franchises versus independent operators, in US$ millions,historical and forecast
Chain vs Independent Subsector 2016 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019 2020 2023 CAGR* % 2020-2023
Chain Accommodation 628.1 688.4 3.1 700.1 746.7 2.2
Independent 2,770.3 3,022.6 2.9 3,063.9 3,248.7 2.0
Chain Leisure 183.9 205.3 3.7 209.0 223.5 2.3
Independent 377.7 421.0 3.7 428.1 462.3 2.6
Independent Mobile operator 4,214.6 4,656.9 3.4 4,741.2 5,110.7 2.5
Chain Pub, club and bar 86.8 91.1 1.6 92.0 94.9 1.1
Independent 3,218.6 3,385.3 1.7 3,435.0 3,593.9 1.5
Chain Restaurant 6,357.5 7,048.9 3.5 7,196.3 7,778.6 2.6
Independent 8,625.6 9,459.1 3.1 9,615.7 10,352.9 2.5
Chain Retail 742.1 848.5 4.6 880.6 1,001.0 4.4
Independent 153.4 175.0 4.5 181.1 205.5 4.3
Unspecified Travel 520.3 572.9 3.3 584.7 630.6 2.6
Unspecified Workplace 3,173.6 3,391.8 2.2 3,424.8 3,561.5 1.3
Subtotal: chain franchises 7,998.4 8,882.2 3.6 9,078.0 9,844.8 2.7
Subtotal: independent operators 19,360.2 21,119.9 2.9 21,465.0 22,973.9 2.3
Total - Chain and independent 27,358.6 30,002.1 3.1 30,543.0 32,818.7 2.4

Source:  GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

The highest value per transaction in 2019 in the Thai foodservice sector occurred in independent nightclubs (US$20.2) followed by chain full service restaurants (US$15.2) and independent private member and social clubs (US$14).

Entertainement from chain and independent operators, chain quick service and fast food restaurants had the highest CAGR in 2019 at 4.2%. For the 2020-2023 period, the growth rate is forecast to decrease across all outlets compared to the 2016-2019 period. Chain convenience and department stores are expected to experience the highest CAGR over this period with 1.6% each.

Value per transaction in chain and independent foodservices by outlet, in US$, historical and forecast
Subsector (chain vs independent) Outlet 2016 2019 CAGR* % 2016-2019 2020 2023 CAGR* % 2020-2023
Accommodation (chain) Holiday park 8.8 9.7 3.3 9.8 9.7 −0.4
Hotel and Motel 12.5 13.7 3.1 13.8 13.6 −0.6
Accommodation (independent) Bed and breakfast 3.8 4.2 3.7 4.3 4.2 −0.2
Guest house 5.2 5.8 3.7 5.8 5.8 −0.2
Holiday park 7.9 8.8 3.3 8.9 8.8 −0.2
Hostel 4.9 5.5 3.7 5.5 5.5 −0.2
Hotel and motel 11.1 12.2 3.1 12.3 12.1 −0.5
Others 3.7 3.9 2.0 3.9 3.8 −1.2
Leisure (chain) Entertainment 3.7 4.2 4.2 4.2 4.3 0.2
Venue 6.9 7.8 3.9 7.9 7.8 −0.1
Visitor attraction 3.5 3.9 3.7 3.9 3.8 −0.8
Leisure (independent) Entertainment 3.6 4.0 4.2 4.1 4.1 0.4
Venue 6.3 7.0 3.9 7.1 7.2 0.2
Visitor attraction 3.4 3.8 3.7 3.8 3.8 0.3
Mobile Operator (independent) Other mobile operators 2.4 2.6 2.4 2.6 2.5 −0.9
Vans 3.0 3.2 2.4 3.2 3.1 −0.9
Pub, Club and Bar (chain) Private member and social club 12.7 13.8 2.8 13.9 13.7 −0.6
Pub and bar 9.3 10.2 3.1 10.3 10.1 −0.6
Pub, Club and Bar (independent) Nightclub 18.5 20.2 2.8 20.3 20.0 −0.5
Private member and social club 12.9 14.0 2.7 14.1 13.8 −0.6
Pub and Bar 8.5 9.3 3.1 9.5 9.4 −0.2
Restaurant (chain) Coffee and tea shop 1.8 1.9 3.1 2.0 2.0 1.0
Full service restaurant 13.7 15.2 3.7 15.3 15.3 0.0
Ice cream parlour 2.2 2.5 3.1 2.5 2.4 −0.5
Quick service restaurant and fast food 4.1 4.7 4.2 4.7 4.8 0.2
Restaurant (independent) Coffee and tea shop 1.5 1.6 3.1 1.6 1.6 −1.2
Full service restaurant 12.1 13.5 3.7 13.5 13.6 0.2
Ice cream parlour 1.7 1.9 3.1 1.9 1.9 −0.3
Quick service restaurant and fast food 3.5 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 0.2
Retail (chain) Baker 1.9 2.1 3.6 2.1 2.2 1.0
Convenience store 1.8 2.1 4.1 2.1 2.3 1.6
Department store 2.3 2.6 4.1 2.6 2.8 1.6
Other retail 3.0 3.4 3.9 3.4 3.6 1.3
Service station forecourt 1.7 1.9 4.1 2.0 2.1 1.5
Supermarket and hypermarket 2.2 2.4 3.7 2.4 2.5 0.5
Retail (independent) Baker 1.8 2.0 3.6 2.0 2.0 0.9
Convenience store 1.2 1.4 4.0 1.4 1.4 0.0
Delicatessen 2.2 2.5 3.8 2.5 2.6 1.1
Department store 2.2 2.4 4.1 2.5 2.6 1.0
Other retail 2.7 3.0 3.9 3.1 3.2 0.8
Service station forecourt 1.5 1.7 3.8 1.7 1.7 0.8
Supermarket and hypermarket 1.9 2.1 3.8 2.2 2.2 0.6

Source: GlobalData, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Top 10 foodservice companies in Thailand

In 2018, Yum! Brands, Inc., and McDonald's Corporation, which are foreign-based international foodbrands, were the two biggest foodservice companies in Thailand. The two companies registered sales valued at US$802.6 million at a market share of 2.6% and US$512 million (1.7%) respectively. In 2018, five of the top ten companies were Thai-based foodservice operators.

Top 10 food service companies in Thailand by value sales and share in US$ millions, 2018
Company Retail sales Share%
Yum! Brands, Inc. 802.7 2.6
McDonald's Corporation 512.0 1.7
MK Restaurant Group PCL 480.3 1.6
Seven and I Holdings Co. 432.9 1.4
Minor International PCL 260.6 0.8
Charoen Pokphand Group 183.0 0.6
Oishi Group 161.0 0.5
S&P Syndicate PCL 151.4 0.5
Starbucks Corporation 130.0 0.4
Others 27,788.2 89.9
Total - Top 10 foodservice companies 30,901.9 100.00
Source: Global Data, 2020

Trade overview

Thailand is a net exporter of agrifood and seafood products, with US$16.8 billion in global imports and US$36.3 billion in exports in 2019. Imports from Canada were valued at US$179.7 million in 2019, representing 1.2% of Thailand's import of agri-food and seafood products. The top imported products were soybeans (US$1.3 billion), oilcake (US$1.3 billion) and non-durum wheat and meslin (US$767.1 million).

Thailand's top 10 agri-food and seafood imports from the world, in US$ millions, historical
HS6 Code Description 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
120190 Soya beans (excluding seed for sowing) 1,116.2 1,220.9 1,178.4 1,156.8 1,270.1 3.3
230400 Oilcake and other solid residues 1,234.8 1,041.2 524.3 1.3 1,250.5 0.3
100199 Non-durum wheat and meslin (excluding seed for sowing) 1,110.7 944.2 591.3 705.6 767.1 −8.8
30343 Frozen skipjack 570.1 754.1 824.2 892.3 747.3 7.0
210690 Food preparations, n.e.s.[1] 511.1 564.2 589.5 610.7 679.4 7.4
520100 Cotton, neither carded nor combed 531.8 433.1 489.6 522.7 392.2 −7.3
30743 Cuttle fish and squid, frozen, 0.0 0.0 330.1 353.2 391.8 9.0
230990 Preparations of a kind used in animal feeding (excluding dog or cat food put up for retail sale) 298.0 312.4 365.1 357.7 364.7 5.2
240220 Cigarettes, containing tobacco 150.7 184.8 215.7 266.5 309.6 19.7
430110 Raw furskins of mink 0.0 65.2 147.7 210.5 300.5 795.2
Total - Imports from the world 13,937.9 14,373.8 14,858.0 15,122.5 16,852.6 4.9%

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

1: Not elsewhere specified

In 2019, Thailand imported US$179.7 million agri-food and seafood products from Canada. Conversely, Canada's imports of agri-food and seafood products from Thailand were valued at US$615.7 million, making Thailand a net exporter of agrifood and seafood products vis-à-vis to Canada. In 2019, the top imported products from Canada were wheat and meslin (US$72.1 million), raw furskins (US$31.6 million) and soybeans (US$21.1 million).

Thailand's top 10 agri-food and seafood imports from the Canada, in US$ millions, historical
HS6 Code Description 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
100199 Wheat and meslin (excluding seed for sowing, and durum wheat) 75.1 24.0 28.2 32.1 72.1 −1.0
430110 Raw furskins of mink 0.0 8.6 13.1 26.2 31.6 54.5
120190 Soya beans (excluding seed for sowing) 33.9 31.2 23.5 20.1 21.1 −11.2
230641 Oilcake and other solid residue 22.8 18.3 12.0 0.0 6.1 −28.1
410150 Whole raw hides and skins of bovine 0.1 1.4 1.6 14.4 5.1 144.4
030616 Frozen cold-water shrimps and prawns 6.5 6.6 5.4 5.2 4.7 −7.8
040210 Milk and cream in solid forms, of a fat content by weight of <= 1,5% 0.5 0.7 2.0 0.9 3.9 67.6
070190 Fresh or chilled potatoes (excluding seed) 3.6 2.1 2.5 5.4 3.5 −1.0
130219 Vegetable saps and extracts (excluding liquorice, hops, opium and ephedra) 3.9 4.1 3.9 3.3 3.2 −4.6
071310 Dried shelled peas 2.5 1.6 2.5 2.8 3.1 5.7
Total - Imports from Canada 177.3 133.5 129.5 139.1 179.7 0.3

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Association of Southeast Asian Nations

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, taken together, represent Canada's sixth trading partner. In 2019, trade between the two economies was valued at Can$25.1 billion. In 2019, Canada's imports and export of agri-food and seafood products with ASEAN countires were each valued at US$1.6 billion. From 2015 to 2019, Canada's exports in agri-food and seafood products grew at a CAGR of 1.6% while imports grew by 2.2%. Although Canada is a net importer of agri-food and seafood products from ASEAN countries, by slightly increasing exports within these markets, Canada could become one of the most important partner of this bloc of countries.

Canada's agri-food and seafood imports from Association of Southeast Asian Nation countries, in US$ millions
Economies 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
Thailand 588.2 579.5 586.9 594.5 615.7 1.2
Viet-Nam 371.1 368.8 410.7 448.7 436.2 4.1
Indonesia 169.5 205.0 217.6 209.1 212.0 5.8
Malaysia 171.3 165.2 162.8 163.8 177.1 0.8
Philippines 168.6 143.2 166.1 151.1 134.6 −5.5
Singapore 18.5 21.4 20.9 50.7 45.1 25.0
Myanmar 8.7 9.5 10.5 6.4 7.0 −5.5
Cambodia 0.5 8.0 1.0 1.3 1.5 32.1
Laos (People's Democratic Republic of) 0.1 0.3 0.3 1.1 0.8 61.4
Brunei Darussalam 0.3 0.5 0.4 0.2 0.3 −6.5
Total - Imports from ASEAN 1,496.8 1,501.3 1,577.1 1,627.0 1,630.3 2.2

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Canada's agri-food and seafood exports to Association of Southeast Asian Nation countries, in US$ millions
Economies 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 CAGR* % 2015-2019
Indonesia 528.5 368.0 495.7 606.5 673.6 6.3
Viet-Nam 284.3 203.0 475.6 266.8 299.5 1.3
Philippines 291.8 147.9 255.1 252.7 194.6 −9.6
Thailand 177.3 133.5 129.5 139.1 179.7 0.3
Malaysia 158.4 166.3 175.1 142.2 151.2 −1.2
Singapore 76.7 99.7 100.4 71.4 87.3 3.3
Cambodia 8.1 21.9 27.5 45.4 30.5 39.1
Myanmar 6.0 17.0 17.8 9.4 17.9 31.6
Brunei Darussalam 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.6 0.5 −2.9
Laos (People's Democratic Republic of) 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.4 0.1 27.9
Total - Exports to ASEAN 1,531.7 1,157.8 1,677.1 1,534.5 1,634.8 1.6

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2020

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Opportunities for Canada

In 2018, Thailand was the fifth largest importer of Canadian agri-food and seafood products within the ASEAN market. Imports of agri-food and seafood products from Canada grew by a CAGR of 3.3% from 2014 to 2018. Thailand also has the second largest foodservice sector among ASEAN countries.

The country tourism industry and the changing consumption behaviour of Thais, especially within the younger generation, present opportunities for Canadian exporters of agri-food and seafood products to supply the foodservice sector in Thailand. Products that represent good opportunities for export include soybeans, wheat, pork, fish and food preparations.

Tariffs on agricultural products are high in Thailand. The average applied MFN tariff on agricultural products is 25.1%. Tariffs on meat products are one of the highest and could reach up to 50% ad valorem.

Exploratory discussions for a possible Canada-ASEAN free trade agreement (FTA) indicate that ASEAN countries, representing Canada's sixth trading partner when taken together, could be a potential market for Canada's exporters.

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be accessed through the International agri-food market intelligence page.

Resources

Foodservice profile – Thailand
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Saidouba Camara

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2020).

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