KResearch assesses that the new wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand may affect trade partners' confidence in food safety in the short run. Subsequent challenges for Thai fishery product exporters will likely be limited consumer demand and fierce competition in the fishery market as rivals prepare to capture a larger market share. However, Thailand has thus far been unable to increase its competitiveness due to pressure from the strengthening Baht and a prolonged period of container shortages. As a result, manufacturers will likely face more difficulties in terms of rising cost and intense competition. Overall, the fishery product export in 2021 will likely see a declining trend, continuing from the previous year. The value of Thailand's fishery product export in 2021 is expected to be in the range of USD 5.20 – 5.44 billion, or a contraction of -5.0 to 0.0 percent. Products that could experience a continuous sales slump are those in the fishery product sector. Meanwhile, processed seafood may receive a boost from moderate market demand, especially during 1H21. Nonetheless, exports this year may be almost unchanged due to a higher base in 2020 from accelerated demand in major markets during the lockdown periods.
In coping with the weak consumer demand , operators should focus on food safety and product differentiation to set themselves apart from the competition and adapt to market changes. Over the long term, labor issues and food safety might increasingly be used as trade barriers. Hence, businesses in this supply chain could end up incurring additional operating costs. However, the increased expenses would help to raise the production standards of Thailand's fishery product supply chain in the long run.