News: US food processor Cargill is to invest THB300mn (US$10mn) into upgrading its poultry processing facility in Saraburi, Thailand, reports Food Business Review. The upgrade will include improvements to the plant's food safety system, the installation of new equipment and the expansion of cold storage capabilities . The project is scheduled for completion in July 2014.
BMI View: We expect further appreciatory pressure on the Thai baht, which will negatively impact the country's exports over the course of the current year. In fact, according to April 2013 statements made by Thailand's commerce minister, Boonsong Teriyapirom, the country's exports may fall to less than 5%, which would have a significant bearing on the wider economic trajectory. Nevertheless, imported goods will become more affordable, especially as we continue to believe that consumer price inflation will remain benign though 2013. In the meantime, the mass grocery retail marketplace continues to consolidate, with Charoen Pokphand Group acquiring Siam Makro in one of the largest acquisitions to date as it continues its push into the South East Asian market.