Thailand’s rice, corn recovering from drought
TEASER: Country’s 2015-17 rice production is forecast up 11%.
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Thailand’s market year 2016-17 rice and corn production is expected to gradually recover from drought-reduced production in market year 2015-16 due to an acreage expansion and average yields, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) said in March 18 report.

Rice production is forecast to increase to 17.5 million tonnes, up 11% from 15.8 million tonnes in market year 2015-16 assuming some recovery of off-season rice production. Unlike in 2016, when new-crop rice supplies are tight, larger supplies of new-crop rice in 2017 will potentially boost Thai rice exports to 10 million tonnes. Meanwhile, tight supplies of new-crop rice in 2016 will likely limit Thai rice export potential at around 8 million tonnes despite heavily subsidized sales of the government stocks.

Thailand market year 2016-17 corn production will likely increase to 4.9 million tonnes after two consecutive years of drought. Meanwhile, the growth in demand for feed will likely decelerate in 2016 due to a slowdown in boiler production. This will lower the import demand for feed wheat in market year 2016-17, in contrast to market year 2015-16 when feed wheat imports increased to record 2.1 million tonnes. This is due to the shortages of domestic corn and broken rice. 

Feed wheat imports are expected to decline to 1.5 million tonnes in market year 2016-17 due to a recovery of domestic production of corn and larger supplies of broken rice. Meanwhile, market year 2016-17 milling wheat imports will likely increase significantly to 1.4 million tonnes, particularly for high-protein wheat from the U.S. due to expanding capacity of large bakery manufacturers.