By PETCHANET PRATRUANGKRAI
Duangporn Rodphaya, director-general of the department, said rice exports should continue to grow steadily as |many countries had shown strong interest in importing more rice before the |New Year.
“Countries that want to import rice under G2G contracts include Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and China,” she said, adding that China would negotiate for a second 1-million-tonne lot of rice imports in the near future.
Malaysia is expected to import about 400,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand this year, more than last year when it bought about 300,000 tonnes.
According to the department, between January 1 and November 2, Thailand shipped a total of 8.4 million tonnes of rice.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Ministry will announce a new export standard for Hom Mali (jasmine) rice, dividing it into three grades, in order to ensure export growth in all markets.
Duangporn said the new standard would be announced on December 20.
“The new export standard will be drawn up to increase trading value and volume of Thai jasmine rice after Thailand lost some share of this market to other countries,” she said.
The new standard will better serve the differing needs of consumers in various export markets. Some markets may prefer a high-quality grade of jasmine rice regardless of the price, while others will go for lower grades because of their consumers’ lower purchasing power.
The new standard should also prevent the problem of rice traders mixing Hom Mali rice with other lower-quality rice grains, resulting in a bad reputation for Thai jasmine rice.
Under the planned revision, exports of jasmine rice must contain only 8 per cent husk rice to be certified as high-grade by the ministry. The other two lower-grade classifications will be 80 and 70 per cent jasmine rice.