By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
THAILAND will strive to ship out 9 million tonnes of rice worth US$4.78 billion (Bt172 billion) next year, versus the almost 10 million tonnes expected this year, according to the Thai Rice Policy and Management Committee.
From January to the first week of this month, Thailand managed to sell 9.3 million tonnes of rice on the global market, reclaiming its crown as the world’s top rice exporter, ahead of India and Vietnam.
Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said yesterday that next year, rice exports should continue to enjoy a bright future, as global rice production is expected to fall because of climate change, while demand will increase.
According to rice traders and the US Agriculture Department, global rice production will drop 1 per cent from this year’s 478.1 million tonnes to 469.3 million tonnes next year.
Global demand for rice will rise from 471 million tonnes to 486.4 million tonnes, sending global stocks down by about 14 per cent.
Thailand is expected to produce 27 million tonnes of paddy rice next year, off 11 per cent from this year’s volume.
Many rice-buying countries, including China, Indonesia and the Philippines, will also need more imports as domestic supply is inadequate for their consumption.
To promote Thai rice next year, the government will go on roadshows to major markets such as Iran, Oman, the Philippines and Russia.
The government will also encourage the cultivation of value-added rice, mainly organic, speciality and Geographic Indication products.