The 33rd China (Guangzhou) International Health Industry Expo 2025

12-14 June 2025

China Import and Export Fair Complex

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Food export to China to rise

Time: 2016-01-01

China"s imports of Thai food products will rise 14.3 per cent to US$2.1 billion (Bt65 billion) in 2012, according to Kasikorn Research Centre.Although China is the world’s fourth-largest food exporter after the European Union, the United States and Canada, it will need to increase its food imports for several reasons, KResearch said in a report.China faces limits in arable land, a growing population, changing consumer behaviour as a result of rising disposable income, and a surging urban populace.Thailand, as an important food exporter, has the potential to expand food production to meet growing demand there. Thailand has, however, typically sustained a trade deficit in food with China, which reached $130 million last year.Food categories that will excel are tropical fruit, tapioca flour and rice. Exports of tropical fruit in particular will likely benefit from China’s rapid economic growth and soaring prosperity, especially in western inland provinces and on the Pacific coast.Transport networks linking Thailand with southern China are also improving.China’s requirements for cassava flour and its processed forms remain strong because of insufficient domestic production.Thai rice exports – especially Hom Mali fragrant rice – will continue to do well in China, thanks to demand from gourmet restaurants, hotels and affluent consumers.However, Thailand must solve the problem of adulterated rice.Thai exporters need to be vigilant towards rising competition in many food categories from Asean rivals, such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.Thailand will also have to compete with local Chinese products because they are improving both in quantity and quality. Thai exporters wanting a place in the Chinese market are advised to promote their quality over rivals’. Looking ahead, Thailand has the potential to export many high-value products to China, such as processed food products, shrimp products including processed shrimp, seasonings and ready-to-eat foods.Processed food products include canned fish, sugar and canned fruit.Exporters entering the Chinese market should study consumer behaviour – buying habits and lifestyles – in the destination regions there.Last but not least, they should forge business alliances and find effective distribution channels to better consumers.