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Thai rice exports drop 32%

Jul 23. 2020
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By The Nation

Thailand's rice exports in the first half of this year dropped 32 per cent year on year to 3.14 million tonnes, worth US$2.2 billion, said Thai Rice Exporters Association president Charoen Laothamatas on Wednesday.

He attributed the decline to drought conditions as well as the Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted customers' purchasing power in export markets.

Another factor is the strengthening baht which has affected the competitiveness of Thai rice exports.

Thai rice exporters have also faced tougher competition from China's exporters, who have already secured some of Thailand's share of the South African market.

Charoen added that China can offer cheaper rice as well as more varieties and higher yield per rai.

The association recently revised down its forecast for rice exports this year from 7.5 million tonnes to 6.5 million tonnes – the lowest target for the past 20 years.

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