BANGKOK, THAILAND — Thailand’s grain output for 2020-21 will vary as rice is impacted by limited water supply but other crops like corn will be buoyed by good weather and increased acreage, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Thailand’s market year 2020-21 rice production forecast slips to 18.6 million tonnes as limited water supplies cause production to fall. Despite the anticipated decrease, the USDA production forecast is still 5% higher than 2019-20 market year production. Rice exports are expected to decrease 6.5 million tonnes, or 14%, in the 2020-21 market year compared to the previous year.
Unlike rice, Thailand’s corn production for market year 2020-21 is anticipated to total 5.6 million tonnes, up 24% compared to the previous year. The USDA equates the uptick in production to favorable weather and increased acreage.
“Domestic corn prices are under downward pressure due to record imports of duty-free corn in 2020,” the report said. “In addition, a growing import demand for alternative feed grains and ingredients magnifying the downward pressure on domestic corn prices.”
The USDA expects Thailand’s wheat imports for market year 2020-21 to decrease to 3 million tonnes, down 14% as demand for wheat products wanes on declining tourist traffic.
Less demand in the hotel and restaurant sector pulls the country’s milling wheat imports to 1.2 million tonnes, a 9% drop compared to the previous year.
The USDA does not expect an increase of wheat imports as flour mills in Thailand are still holding large inventories imported in market year 2019-20 following the uncertainties in the government’s import regulations on chemical residues on imported ag products.