BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): The number of new companies entering the frozen food business in Thailand is surging, Deputy Commerce Minister Sinit Lertkrai said on Wednesday (Nov 30), adding that the segment was unscathed by the pandemic.
Sinit said that 92 new frozen food companies registered with his ministry during the first nine months of this year – an 84% surge over the same period last year when 50 new frozen food companies registered with the ministry.
The new companies are also getting bigger. The combined registered capital of the 92 frozen food firms that registered this year was 299.3 million baht, compared to 78 million baht for the 50 companies that registered in the same period last year, Sinit said.
The frozen food business attracted high levels of domestic and foreign investment even during the pandemic, the deputy minister added, noting that annual revenues in the segment rose from about 7 billion baht in 2019 to more than 10.5 billion baht last year.
The market capitalisation of the frozen food segment has hovered near 300 billion baht over the past three years, according to official data.
Thai investors dominate the segment, accounting for 86.20%. The major foreign investors are Japanese (6.51%), Chinese (1.86%) and Singaporean (1.46%). Investors from other countries own a combined 3.97% of the segment, according to official data.
Sinit said exports of eight frozen food products in the first nine months of this year were valued at 87.896 billion baht. These included fish and poultry to vegetable and fruit products.
There were 833 frozen food companies in Thailand as of the end of October, Sinit said, adding that most of them (89.5%) are small companies. A handful (6.3%) are mid-sized companies, while 4.2% are large, he added.
Although the companies’ combined revenues fell slightly last year, profits rose significantly, Sinit said. He explained that businesses in the segment have been adept at managing costs as demand for their products rises at home and abroad.