BANGKOK, THAILAND – Despite some flooding issues in September and October, Thailand is forecast to increase total rice production in the 2021-22 marketing year by 11% over last year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

Thailand is projected to harvest 21 million tonnes of rice, up from 18.8 million tonnes in 2020-21, FAS said.

The report noted that farm-gate prices of paddy rice have been trending downward, reflecting a global trend.

Fragrant and glutinous paddy rice prices fell significantly in September, dropping 33% and 22%, respectively, from the same period last year, it said.

“The recovery in fragrant and glutinous price production in 2020-21, as well as current large inventories of old-crop rice caused by a slowdown in domestic and foreign demand, put downward pressure on rice prices,” FAS said.

FAS said the weakening of the Thai baht against the US dollar in the third quarter of 2021 helped make Thai rice more competitive in the global market, but exports were hurt by shipping container shortages.

Still, FAS projects exports to remain unchanged from the previous estimate in July and up 2% over the previous year at 5.8 million tonnes.