BANGKOK, THAILAND — Flooding in Thailand had a minimal impact on rice production, corn growers are seeing a slightly smaller crop on less acreage and wheat imports are up significantly year-over-year, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

FAS Bangkok Post’s outlook for marketing year 2022-23 rice production remains unchanged from previous forecasts at 19.9 million tonnes, up slightly from 19.87 million tonnes in 2021-22. Precipitation between January and October 2022 was well above last year while damage from flooding on main-crop rice production from August to October was marginal. Flooding did delay the main-crop rice harvest in some areas of the northeastern region due to slow water drainage.

The 2022-23 forecast for corn production also remains unchanged at 5.2 million tonnes, 2% lower than last year due to expected lower offseason corn acreage. The main-crop corn harvest was completed in late October 2022 with good average yield due to favorable rainfall and sufficient water supplies. 

“Traders expect lower offseason corn acreage, however, as production costs remain relatively high compared to other field crops such as cassava and offseason rice, which have lower maintenance costs and higher returns,” the FAS said.

The forecast for 2022-23 wheat imports is unchanged at 2.9 million tonnes, but that is a 23% increase from 2021-22 due to an anticipated increase in domestic production and growing consumption of wheat-based foods. The total contract commitment of US wheat export sales to Thailand between July 1 and Nov. 10, 2022, was 374,227 tonnes, up 49% from the same period a year ago.