Thai rice exports set to rise amid El Niño concerns

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Thai rice exports have a favourable horizon in 2023, as they are projected to exceed 8 million tonnes. This boost in international demand is linked to global concerns about the possible consequences of the El Niño weather event, resulting in several countries aiming to expand their stockpiles, according to Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit.

The minister indicated that the Philippines plans to raise its rice acquisition by 2-3 million tonnes, while Indonesia is speeding up the process to secure considerable amounts of rice from Thailand and Vietnam. Iraq’s imports are estimated to be around 1 million tonnes for the year, matching the same volume as 2022.

Jurin noted that Vietnam, in preparation for domestic needs, is lessening its rice exports while shifting its emphasis to growing fruit and coffee. Moreover, he highlighted that the weaker Thai baht is making rice shipments from the country more competitive in the international market.

Just last year, Thai rice shipments reached 7.69 million tonnes, exceeding the ministry’s target of 7.5 million tonnes. The goal for 2023 is set between 7.5-8 million tonnes of rice exports.

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“Crop prices are very good,” Jurin said.

“The important agricultural crops with high prices are fragrant paddy, Pathum Thani fragrant paddy, white rice paddy and glutinous paddy rice. These four items all have prices higher than the state-guaranteed prices.”

Moreover, the minister has urged the Internal Trade Department and the southern region’s provincial commercial office to collaborate with provincial governors to examine and oversee fruit trading after reports of possible collusion, efforts to halt purchases, and price manipulation of mangosteen and durian were received. Jurin has also called for stern legal action against unscrupulous traders under both the Trade Competition Act and the Price of Goods and Services Act, reports Bangkok Post.

Meanwhile, Thailand aims to reach an agreement for trade negotiations with Efta nations by early next year. For more information, click the LINK to read more about this story.

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