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Thai rice exports facing price disadvantage

May 30. 2020
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By The Nation

The price of Thai rice is higher than that of competitors by US$30 to $130 due to limited supply and the strengthening of the baht, which could hurt exports, the Thai Rice Exporters Association said.

Charoen Laothammathat

Association president Charoen Laothammathat said that according to Customs Department data, Thailand exported 2,111,606 tonnes of rice worth Bt43.046 billion (US$1.387 billion), down 32.1 per cent and 15.7 per cent year on year respectively during the first four months.

“The export of rice during the first four months of the previous year was 3,112,118 tonnes worth Bt51.069 billion (US$1.615 billion),” he said.

He explained that in April alone, Thailand had exported 643,852 tonnes of rice worth Bt14.550 billion, up 23.7 per cent and 32.7 per cent respectively compared to March this year as countries in America, Africa and Asia imported more rice due to uncertainty following the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Thailand exported 160,142 tonnes of jasmine rice and 243,341 tonnes of white rice, up 20.9 per cent and 5.5 per cent year on year respectively, mostly to Angola, Cameroon, Japan, the Philippines and Benin,” he said.

“Meanwhile, Thailand exported 118,399 tonnes of parboiled rice, up 46.0 per cent year on year mostly to South Africa, Yemen and Benin.”

He said the association expected the export of rice in May to drop to approximately 500,000 tonnes, as rice importing countries were delaying orders, while competitors Vietnam, India and Pakistan had returned to the market.

“In addition, the price of Thai rice was higher than that of competitors due to limited supply and strengthening of the baht,” he said.

He added that the price of 5 per cent white rice in Thailand was US$501 per tonne, higher than that of competitors by $30 to $130.

“According to data from Oryza.com, the leading site for global rice news, research and analysis, the price of 5 per cent white rice in Vietnam was $473 to $477 per tonne, $368 to $372 in India and $458 to $462 in Pakistan,” he added.

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