By THE NATION
Apiradi Tantraporn said the Mexico government decided to open the quota for rice, and the other countries granted the quota are Argentina, India, Italy, Uruguay, Vietnam and the United States. Rice imported to Mexico without the quota is levied at 20 per cent tax.
She said Mexico announced the quota tax waiver for the import of five categories of rice totalling 150,000 tonnes, with private companies granted a quota of no more than 10,000 tonnes of rice.
The measure took effect on March 2 and lasts until December 31.
“Mexico decided to open the quota for imports of 150,000 tonnes of rice, or 13 per cent of the country’s rice consumption of 1.125 million tonnes in 2016 – about 82.62 per cent of which were imported,” the minister said.
Of all the rice imported to Mexico in 2016, Thailand ranked fourth in 2016 with 7,690 tonnes of long-grain white rice. The US, Uruguay and Argentina made up the top three, respectively.
Thailand's Ministry of Commerce assigned the Thai Trade Centre in Mexico to coordinate with Thai rice importers in Mexico including Kume, Almacenes Vaca, Novalimentos and Verde Valle.
Kume contacted the Mexico government to apply for the rice quota, the ministry said.
It added that Mexico’s rice quota is in line with a project by Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion to expand the Thai rice market in Mexico together with the Costco Mexico department store at its 37 branches between April and September.
Apiradi said: “It's a good opportunity for Thailand to expedite its rice exports to Mexico. What Thai exporters and the public sector should do to compete for market share is publicise the distinguished quality of Hom mali rice, while providing information about Thailand's rice-growing fields.”
She said logistics should also be improved to lower export costs and if rice exporters can manage to capture more market share, this advantage will be extended to Thai rice markets in other countries in Latin America.