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Strong baht, low production pull down Thai rice exports

Oct 05. 2020
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By The Nation

Thailand’s rice export this year is expected to drop from 7.5 million tonnes worth Bt130 billion last year to 5 million tonnes worth Bt115 billion, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association Chookiat Ophaswongse said.

He attributed the drop to the strengthening baht and low rice production.

The price of Thai white rice is currently around US$490 per tonne, compared to Vietnamese white rice at $460 per tonne, Indian at $370 per tonne and Myanmar at $420 per tonne.

White rice accounts for 50 per cent of Thailand’s total rice exports.

He said Malaysia has only purchased 40,000 tonnes of Thai white rice this year, compared to its usual 400,000 tonnes per year, adding that it has switched to rice from Vietnam, India and Myanmar instead.

Meanwhile, the Philippines has imported 1.8 million tonnes of rice this year, 1.7 million tonnes of which came from Vietnam and only around 60,000 tonnes came from Thailand. Previously, Thailand used to export around 500,000 tonnes of rice to the Philippines.

Separately, Thailand has exported 4 million tonnes of rice in the first nine months of this year, averaging at between 300,000 and 400,000 tonnes monthly. If it wants to achieve the goal of exporting 6.5 million tonnes this year, then it will have to sell at least 500,000 tonnes monthly, which he said is difficult to achieve.

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