Rice exports at 9.88m tonnes in 2016, second to India
- 3 Feb 2017 at 14:31
- WRITER: ONLINE REPORTERS
A farmer in Chaiyaphum province prepares a field for a new crop of rice on Jan 23. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Thailand finished 2016 as the second largest rice exporter, shipping a total of 9.88 million tonnes, behind India, which exported 10.43 million tonnes, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.
Association president Charoen Laothamatas said Thai rice exports rose 0.9% in 2016 over 2015, and were worth US$4.4 billion.
Vietnam finished third, shipping 4.95 million tonnes, Pakistan fourth with 4.19 million and the US fifth at 3.52 million.
The US Department of Agriculture forecasts that India will remain the largest exporter this year, with 10 million tonnes, followed by Thailand 9.7 million, Vietnam 5.8 million and Pakistan 3.55 million. The global production will be at 480 million tonnes, slightly exceeding projected consumption of 477 million, according to the department. Global rice trade is predicted at 40 million tonnes.
However, Mr Charoen said the Thai association predicts exports of only 9.5 million tonnes in 2017, worth around $43 billion. Of this, around 4.6 million tonnes would be white rice, 2.4 million tonnes Hom Mali and 2 million tonnes parboiled rice. The rest would be glutinous rice and newly harvested fragrant rice.
Competition in the rice trade would be tough in 2017 as several countries have expanded production while others were expected to reduce imports and use more locally grown rice. So buyers would continue to have the upper hand in the market.
He said positive factors to support growth in rice exports were the government’s attempts to unload its stockpile, delivery of rice to China under government-to-government contracts and possible rising demand in some countries in an improving global economy.
Mr Charoen said the factor most affecting rice exports is the strengthening of the baht, which affects prices. The association wanted the government to manage the exchange rate risk.