BANGKOK, THAILAND — Flood damage is impacting Thailand’s marketing year 2022-23 rice production, mostly in the country’s northeast, and the crop has been revised down slightly to 19.9 million tonnes from 20 million tonnes in the latest Global Agricultural Information Network report of the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

FAS said the floods likely will delay the harvest of fragrant rice until the end of October or early November. Thai rice exports benefited from the competitive rice prices following further weakening of the Thai baht against the US dollar and growing foreign demand. Thai rice exporters still face challenges through 2022 from high freight costs.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative reported that Typhoon Noru, which hit Thailand on Sept. 29, caused widespread floods in the Chao Phraya, Chi and Mun river basins, damaging 84,998 hectares of main-crop rice, especially in the northeastern region. The flood-damaged areas accounted for about 18% of total rice acreage. Floods had minimal impact on rice production in the Chao Phraya River basin as farmers already had completed their rice harvest.

“Thai officials are closely monitoring additional flood damage on rice production in the Chi and Mun river basin in the northeastern regions, where rice crops are undergoing the reproduction stage and transitioning to the ripening stage, which is considered critical period for rice production and its quality,” the report said.

The outlook for corn production remains unchanged at 5.2 million tonnes, a 1% reduction from 2021-22 due to expected lower off-season corn acreage. Burma remains the top supplier of feed corn for Thailand, followed by India and Cambodia. 

Wheat imports for 2022-23 remain unchanged from the previous forecast at 2.9 million tonnes, which is expected to increase 23% over the previous year. Wheat imports in the first two months of marketing year 2022-23 totaled 370,000 tonnes, down 10% from the same period last year due to reduced milling and feed wheat imports following a slow economic recovery in 2022.