Global Thai rice export forecast to surpass 8 million tonnes

Picture courtesy of dashu83, Freepik.

The appeal for Thai rice continues to be significant globally, with both Indonesia and Bangladesh expressing their aspirations to buy the grain through G2G or government-to-government contracts. Ronnarong Phoolpipat, head of the Foreign Trade Department, stated that the immense global demand for Thai rice is likely to boost exports to surpass 8 million tonnes this year.

The department has plans to send representatives from both the public and private sectors to discuss the subject. The goal is to reinforce ties with key trading partners such as the Philippines in July, while in August, the focus will be on Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Japan.

“Growing concerns about the impact of the El Niño weather phenomenon led Indonesia to express increased demand for rice imports, worried about a shortage for domestic consumption and the need for food security,” Phoolpipat explained. “Indonesia is interested in purchasing Thai rice through G2G deals. However, the Thai government does not have a policy to sell rice via this method, preferring private sector involvement,” Phoolpipat added.

Bangladesh also has expressed interest in an acquisition of rice through G2G contracts, according to Ronnarong, reported Bangkok Post.

During a trip to Hong Kong and Beijing, held during June 11 to 15, Ronnarong promoted Thai rice in addition to the Thai rice certification mark. He enlightened his Chinese hosts on the quality and high standards of Thai rice. Notably, representatives from the Thai Rice Exporters Association held discussions with China’s state-owned Cofco Corporation, which deals with agricultural goods’ production and importation. This meeting facilitated an exchange of information about the rice trade.

Chinese authorities agreed to promptly take action against counterfeit Thai Jasmine rice instances, along with fraudulent activities related to this variety, such as labels and certification mark falsification.

Annually, Thailand exports between 600,000 and 700,000 tonnes of rice to China, primarily comprising white rice and Thai Jasmine rice.

Hong Kong is another crucial market for Thai rice exports, typically importing between 170,000 and 188,000 tonnes. Thai Jasmine rice accounts for around 70% to 80% of these imports. Market domination by Thailand in Hong Kong continues, catering to about 60% of Hong Kong’s rice market.

In the first five months of the year, Thailand witnessed a 26.6% year-on-year increase in rice export, with the total reaching 3.47 million tonnes from the previous year’s 2.74 million tonnes. The export value of 64.3 billion baht or US$1.89 billion noted an uptick of 34.6% and 30.5% respectively in comparison to the same period the previous year.

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Alex Morgan

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