Dried longan is prepared for sale at Sanpatong Cooperatives in Chiang Mai. Indonesia has banned imports of Thai longan and durian during harvest seasons.(Source: bangkokpost.com)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand is mulling retaliatory measures against Indonesia after the Southeast Asian neighbour banned imports of some Thai fresh agricultural products like longan and durian.

Indonesia’s ban on imports of horticultural crops, especially fruits, was made during Thailand’s annual harvest season, which could lead to overproduction due to lack of consumption market.

Thai Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong told reporters that they are studying the impact and proper retaliatory measures against Indonesia. 

Imposing such trade barriers during the harvest season are considered unfair, especially on products with short post-harvest preservation time like fresh fruits, Sontirat stressed.

Director-General of the Trade Negotiations Department of Thailand Auramon Supthaweethum said the department is consulting related agencies on proper measures against the fruit ban. However, she insisted that the measures scheduled to be disclosed this month will do nothing to contravene established international trade agreements.

Last year, Thailand exported 97,000 tonnes of longan to Indonesia worth 83.7 million USD, with shipments of durian amounting to 760 tonnes worth 1.2 million USD.

In 2016, the Indonesian Government only allowed imports of Thai durian in only one month of the year’s first half, with unlimited amount of the fruit.

Over the last five year, two-way trade between Thailand and Indonesia averaged 16.2 billion USD per year.

In 2017, overall bilateral trade totalled 16.2 billion USD, up 11.5 percent from 2016.

For the first four months of 2018, two-way trade rose 14.7 percent from the same period last year to 6 billion USD.-VNA