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Abstract

The Thai economy has experienced rapid changes in the underlying factors that determine demand for meat and livestock products. GDP growth has remained at over 8% over the last decade and has not fallen below 5% in the last 30 years. Incomes have grown at a faster rate than other ASEAN countries and the development of a new urban-based middle class has stimulated a westernisation of tastes and preferences (Sindelar, 1996; Hassalls & Associates, 1996). These changes have, in some cases, stimulated extensive development in Thailand's domestic and international trade in meat and livestock products. While some rural industry sectors have been able to adapt to demand changes for their products others have been slower to respond. This paper will focus on recent trends in the trade of meat and livestock products in Thailand. To provide a more comprehensive understanding of these trends, some discussion of the constraints to domestic production and marketing, raised in earlier papers, will be necessary.

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