Rice production likely to fall 7 million tonnes. No export impact, but higher prices for Thai consumers possible.
In photo above fields in Lop Buri are among the hundreds of thousands of rai now under water (Photo: PHRAKRIT JUNTAWONG).
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FLOODING: Damage to paddy may hit 7m tonnes, But officials claim exports won't suffer by Post Reporters
Floods have already damaged about 700,000 tonnes of paddy but the final tally could be 6-7 million tonnes, says the Commerce Ministry.
However, the impact on exports of Thai rice this year is expected to be limited and the country will still be able to export 11 million tonnes of rice, said Yanyong Phuangrach, the ministry's permanent secretary.
The Agriculture Ministry reported total damage of 10 million rai of cultivated areas, of which 8 million are paddy, meaning rice production could be cut by 6-7 million tonnes. Prior to the floods, Thailand expected main-crop paddy production of 25 million tonnes to enter the government's paddy mortgage scheme. Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan, Phichit and Suphan Buri are among the affected provinces.
Mr Yanyong said he hoped traders and the public would understand that supplies will be reduced and prices may rise.
We have to understand that farmers usually cultivate two crops of paddy, but they will only get income from one crop this year because of the floods.
Though some have speculated that Thai rice exports would be affected, Mr Yanyong is still optimistic the country can export 11 million tonnes this year.
The kingdom has already shipped 9 million tonnes this year. He admitted the price of Thai rice has increased, but not so high as to affect orders.
There are some problems in transporting rice to the port due to the floods but demand for Thai rice is still high.
He noted India had exported only 10,000 tonnes of rice, after an earlier announcement it would export 2 million. India exports mainly to Pakistan, which is not a main market for Thailand, which is increasingly focusing on Africa.
Thai white rice is around US$600 a tonne, while Vietnamese rice is at $570. Mr Yanyong said traditional customers were still buying Thai rice, such as the Ivory Coast, which is likely to purchase over 200,000 tonnes this year.
In another development, Internal Trade Department director-general Vatchari Wimooktayon said a large suburban construction materials store was selling 20-kilogramme sandbags at 55 baht, double the normal price.
The department intends to charge the business under Article 29 of the Goods and Services Price Control Act. Punishment includes up to seven years in jail and/or a fine up to 140,000 baht. It will also ask the Revenue Department to investigate the earnings of the shop.
(Source: Bangkok Post, FLOODING, Damage to paddy may hit 7m tonnes, But officials claim exports won't suffer, 15/10/2011, Post Reporters, link)
Rice Export Vocabulary
paddy - rice after it has been harvested from the field ข้าวเปลือก
claim - saying something is true without proving it yet
suffer - to experience physical or mental pain
claim exports won't suffer - say (without proving) that exports will not be less, because of flood damage to rice production
tally - a record or count of a number of items การบันทึกจำนวน
the final tally - in the end, after all damage has happened, the final damage count or statistics
the final tally could be 6-7 million tonnes (of damage)
impact - an effect or influence ผลกระทบ
expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
impact expected to be limited - not a big reduction (in rice exports from the floods)
the impact on exports of Thai rice this year is expected to be limited
cultivate - to prepare land and grow crops on it เตรียมเพื่อเพาะปลูก, เพาะปลูก
cultivated areas - area where crops are grown on
armers usually cultivate two crops of paddy
main-crop paddy production
mortgage - a legal agreement in which you borrow money from a bank in order to buy a house, build something, develop a piece of land, etc.การจำนอง
scheme - a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ
government's paddy mortgage scheme - the government program that gives farmers a price for their rice that is at ofr above the market price
traders - people and companies that buy and sell goods (or assets) for profit
income - money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings
optimistic - feels that the future will be good; expecting good things to happen or to be successful (opposite of pessimistic) มีทัศนคติที่ดี โดยคาดหวังสิ่งที่ดี, มองโลกในแง่ดี
port - an area of water where ships stop, including the buildings around it ท่าเรือ
demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses
announcement - information given to public ประกาศ
traditional - things that have existed for a long time
traditional customers - customers that businesses have had for a long time
purchase - buy
suburban - outside the center of a town or city
construction - the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง
construction materials - materials used to build buildings (such as sand, cement, cement blocks, etc)
a large suburban construction materials store
double - to become twice as big, twice as much or twice as many เพิ่มเป็นสองเท่า
double the normal price - two times the usual price (example: if the price is usually 100, then 200 is "double the normal price")
charge - to accuse someone officially of committing a crime ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา
charge the business under Article 29 of the Goods and Services Price Control Act
fine - an amount of money that you have to pay because you have broken the law ค่าปรับ
a fine up to 140,000 baht
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