Coconuts are an important economic crop for Thailand, and they are also classified as being among the so-called ‘Superfood'. Given their current popularity in world markets, demand for coconuts and related outputs have grown spectacularly, however, this is contrary to global coconut planting that has been in constant decline. This year, all key producing nations are facing output shortages.
In KResearch's view, demand for Thai coconut milk and coconut-related products will continue to expand with the ‘Superfood' trend as an important booster. Outbound shipments of our coconut products and other coconut milk will likely rise 18.5 percent YoY and 16.5 percent YoY in 2017, respectively, totaling THB16.4 billion and 12.7 billion in value.
Due to their good potential and promising growth outlook, each one of the economic variants may capitalize on this trend toward higher business expansion. Upstream, farmers may shift from other crops downtrending in prices to coconuts on more encouraging price trends. Mid-stream SMEs and downstream exporters may ride this wave via R&D efforts into new products with greater ‘added value', in line with the ‘Thailand 4.0' government initiative.
But an obstacle to our coconut milk and related produce exports lies in our own shortages of raw materials. Some businesses have had to import them from our neighbors. In addition, Thailand's produce yields remain significantly below the benchmarks of other major producers.