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Thai rice exports to dominate Shipments pegged at 10-11 million tonnes

Thai rice exports to dominate Shipments pegged at 10-11 million tonnes

Published: 20 Jan 2015


In a statement Monday, the Commerce Ministry said Thailand exported 10.8 million tonnes of rice last year, a rise of 63.6% from 2013. Export value rose by 22% to US$5.37 billion from $4.42 billion in 2013.


Commerce Minister Chatchai Sarikulya attributed the surge mainly to the joint effort by the private and public sectors to rev up selling annual produce and the government's rice stocks.

The Commerce Ministry forecasts global rice production will fall slightly by 0.3% this year to 475 million tonnes due to lower production anticipated in India, Japan, Pakistan, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Nigeria.The world's rice consumption, meanwhile, is estimated at 483 million tonnes, about 7.7 million tonnes higher than global output.


The global rice trade is expected to hit 41.9 million tonnes this year, up slightly from 41.88 million tonnes last year.Strong import demand is anticipated, particularly for China (4 million tonnes), Nigeria (3.5 million tonnes), Iran and the Philippines (1.7 million tonnes each).Gen Chatchai said the government was committed to working closely with the private sector to both expand the market and retain market share with rice importers worldwide.The government will also place equal focus on potential buyers in each region including Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the EU and the US.The Office of Agriculture and Economics (OAE) estimates Thailand's rice production from the main crop of 2014-15 at 27.1 million tonnes, a slight increase of 0.06% from the previous season.


Overall, rice planting in the season was on the decline following the state's policy to discourage farmers from growing several crops a year for fear of water shortages, especially in irrigated areas.The falling rice price was another factor that turned farmers to other crops, OAE secretary-general Lersak Riewtrakulpaibul said.Farmers earned an average 7,862 and 7,878 baht a tonne of paddy in November and December, respectively, when a large volume of paddy entered the market. The figures were lower than the 8,130 baht farmers received from selling paddy last year.The OAE reported that since the start of the season last October, 25.5 million tonnes of paddy were harvested, accounting for 94% of total production.Exporters Association, said the global rice market would be challenging this year, as higher supplies were anticipated from other rice-producing nations, particularly Vietnam and India.Higher supplies and exports from small rice-producing countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia are also likely, he said.Despite a sharp drop, the price of Thai rice remains relatively high, notably against grains from Vietnam."We expect the country to ship at best 10 million tonnes this year," Mr Chookiat said.




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