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Camellia Aebischer

BY CAMELLIA AEBISCHER

Thailand considers coconut import ban

Approved import volumes during healthy domestic production has lowered prices, triggering the proposed ban

Thailand considers coconut import ban

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From August to October, fresh coconut imports into Thailand will be banned temporarily if the measure is approved by the Cabinet.

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Somid Jatusripitak, chaired a meeting Tuesday with the Oil Crop and Vegetable Oil Board under the Commerce Ministry, to discuss and approve the measure.

The Bangkok Post reported that coconut farmers don’t feel the measure will help them, believe it is too long overdue.

Commerce Minister, Sontirat Sontijirawong said the measure was necessary to keep a balanced market, but Amnat Meedang, the representative of Coconut Farmers on the Oil Crop and Vegetable Oil Board disagreed, saying he was preparing to take legal action against Sontijirawong for negligence.

Meedang claimed to have informed the board of abundant local supply in September of 2017, which was followed by Sontijirawong approving the import of another 500m fruit which has now all been delivered.

Local production sits around 800m fruit annually, and Meedang believes the current surplus is still at around 300-400m pieces.

He said an import ban is now useless because companies have already filled their import quotas.

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