Thai News Service
The Thai Rice Exporters Association has projected that Thailand will be able to export 9 million tonnes of rice this year, the highest level in three years, with earnings of US$4.75 billion.
The Association said the demand for Thai rice has increased due to competitive prices while overseas buyers have also expressed interest in Thai rice, especially white rice and parboiled rice.
The Republic of Benin, Nigeria and South Africa continue to buy Thai rice while the most popular 'Mali' (jasmine) fragrant rice is being exported to the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore on a regular basis, it said.
Despite rising demand for Thai rice overseas, local exporters prefer to keep limited stocks due to fierce competition in the market, while new rice harvested by Vietnam began entering the market with Thailand trying to reduce its stock to prevent losses, the rice traders' association said.
During the first five months this year, Thailand exported 3.82 million tonnes and earned about Bt63.1 billion, up 52.3 and 19 per cent in volume and value respectively year-on-year, said the association.
The major importers were Benin, China, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and the US.
It is estimated that Thailand can export 900,000 tonnes of rice in June as demand oversea for Thai rice continues to increase while the prices also tend to rise due to the global market mechanism, the association added. - MCOT