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Ban on Border Pig Exports to Hold Down Retail Price

by 5m Editor
30 June 2011, at 8:19am

THAILAND - The Internal Trade Department expects pork prices to drop soon after it suspends swine exports across the borders to neighbouring countries this week.

The department will ask the Goods and Service Price Committee of the Commerce Ministry to ban border exports of swine to neighbouring countries after it found a significant rise of such exports to cash in on higher retail prices.

Pig prices in Thailand are controlled at Bt70 per kilogram, while prices in neighbouring countries, mainly Viet Nam and Cambodia, are Bt80-Bt90 per kilo.

Vatchari Vimooktayon, director-general of the department, said yesterday that it must enforce the ban stringently to protect domestic consumers. Any smuggling or removal of swine without the ministry's permission will result in a fine of Bt100,000 fine and/or five years in jail.

The Internal Trade Department in cooperation with the Customs and Livestock department will closely monitor the movement of swine in border provinces, Mr Vimooktayon said. She pointed out that slaughterhouses in Chon Buri and Chachoengsao had noted unusual shipments to other areas.

Mr Vimooktayon said that after imposing the stringent control of cross-border exports, the pork price should drop.

According to The Nation, the ministry found that border shipments to neighbouring countries had jumped from a monthly average of 200-300 pigs to more than 1,000.

Normally, exports account for only 3-4 per cent of the total production of 12 million pigs a year.

The target retail price of pork |is Bt130 per kilogram, but the market retail price is Bt135 a kilo or higher.

As an addition effort to protect consumers from unfair trade practice, collusion, and market monopoly, the department in cooperation with the Royal Thai Police held a seminar on enforcement of the Trade Competition Act to educate officials from the Livestock Department and the police Consumer Protection Division on improved efficiency.

Traders found guilty of price collusion are subject to three years' imprisonment and/or a Bt600,000 fine. Traders who overcharge face a maximum of seven years in jail and/or a Bt140,000 fine.