Exports of Thai food products are expected to rise this year by 8% compared to last year when the country exported food products worth 250bn baht (US$6.0bn).

According to the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the rise in exports is due to the outbreaks of SARS and bird flu in China, which has prompted many foreign buyers to purchase chicken from Thailand rather than China.

In the first four months of this year, Thailand exported 150,000 tonnes of chicken, a 13.03% rise from the same period of last year, reported the Thai News Service.

Thailand’s exports of processed chicken products were up 39.3% to $120.1m in the first four months, while frozen chicken exports fell 24.3% to $155.6m.